Using Video to Raise Social Awareness

Sophie and Louise Kanza

Louise Kongolo Kanza was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo and was raised in South Africa, where she faced xenophobia. People treated her badly because she was from a different country. When xenophobic attacks spread across South Africa in 2017, Louise and her sister knew they had to raise awareness about the fear and pain that was being experienced daily.

They formed a group of both South Africans and foreigners and they thought of ways they could share their stories. They didn’t have a lot of resources, but someone had a camera, so they decided to make a short video about the impact of the xenophobic attacks. They recorded the film at a house that had been burned down and called the video #Singabantu. They used their personal social media accounts to share the content, and people were moved by the story they told.

The video got a lot of attention and it was eventually broadcast on Trace Africa in 18 different countries. In 2017, #Singabantu won the UN Alliance of Civilizations Plural Plus award and Louise and the team were invited to several platforms to raise awareness about xenophobia. After these experiences, Louise began to coordinate the Sophie A Kanza Foundation, that organises events focused on uniting her community.

“Sometimes people don’t have the time or energy to read through a thick document, many people find it easier to watch a video, which often has more impact. It makes you see what is happening on the ground and it’s an eye-opener. My video really got people talking, and when they became interested, they wanted to know more.”