LAND STORIES Zimkhitha Fihle – the matriarch


Production by SANDISIWE MAGADLA & ZANDILE HLABANGANE

This film explores Zimkhitha Fihle’s relationship with the place of Esikhululweni in Hogsback, Eastern Cape and her history there. Zimkhitha is an activist and community builder involved in ensuring that development occurs. She has engaged different protest forms which led getting electricity and sanitation delivery. She has built houses for her parents and her brother so that they can have a home and independence.

This film is one of six videos made to illustrate a range of typical Land struggles that people living in the Thyme River catchment in South Africa have experienced during their lifetimes.
A common feature in each of the six participants’ stories is the role and impact of insecure tenure on their own lives, their families and their communities. Although each family now has a ‘secure’ home, many of the participants have moved several times – between farmland, communal land, land owned by employers and as well as absentee landowners.
Despite the right to housing being enshrined in the South African Constitution, 24 years after the advent of democracy, the families have yet to secure formal tenure. Each of the stories highlight aspects of the ongoing struggle to ‘live a good life’ – many gained access to electricity for the first time in late 2017. The films provide a digital record for the young people in each family of how their parents struggled to have a permanent place called home.

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