Scifest: Retracing our Steps

Join the inquisitive youth of Grahamstown on a journey into our shared history by retracing our ancestors’ diverse genetic journey to find a global shared humanity. With commentary by Ella Al-Shamahi, palaeoanthropologist and National Geographic Emerging Explorer, we get a taste of modern scientific discovery and how this impacts issues such as race, poverty and education.

Production by Kellan Botha & Nontobeko Gumede


Scifest: OUT OF TIME

Mother Earth is suffering daily as the fuel for our cars are damaging her. The team from Scifest Africa and the youth of South Africa may be able to save her.

At Scifest Africa 2016, learners from across the country participated in workshops including Hydrogen Fuel Cells and Biotechnology. They learnt a thing or two about the importance of renewable energy. The workshop was hosted by SAASTA.

Production by Kayleigh Tuck & Stephanie Shumba



Imagine how great it would be if a science lecture could be as exciting as a play?

We investigate the power of educational theatre in making science more relatable and entertaining to young minds. This is achieved by looking at the play “All from One” which was performed at Scifest Africa this year.

Production by Michael Dorfling & Smangaliso Ngwenya


Toying with Science

A Rhodes University student attends the Toys from Trash and Mankala workshops at Scifest Africa



“They’re taking our jobs” and “corrupting our country”, are some of the statements foreign nationals in South Africa are all too familiar with. They hear these statements daily along with titles such as “kwerekwere”.

For foreign nationals living in Port Elizabeth, each day is a struggle, where they are robbed, killed or denied basic services simply because they are not South Africans. ‘Amakwerekwere” is a film that shares the stories of victims of xenophobia.

Production by Tebo Ramosili & Siyavuya Makubalo


Close to Home

On the streets of Athlone, Cape Town, boys grow up idolizing neighbourhood gangsters standing on street corners and jump at the chance to become one of them – a township celebrity. Grant Porthen was one of those boys. For his mother, Sharon, tough love was the only answer. Eventually she was forced to give up on her son. Grant endured prison, the wrath of the Numbers gang and crystal meth addiction leading to the collapse of his thriving drug empire. Close to Home documents the changing relationship between Grant and Aunty Sharon through the years. Their determination to stay connected through separation and pain explores the deeper meaning of love and family.

Production by Rhea MacDonald, Laura Skippers & Louise Fuller


#RHODESSOWHITE – Director’s Cut

#RhodesSoWhite explores systematic white privilege within Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa. Students talk through the current controversies and share their ideas of transformation in this 24 min documentary.

The production deepens the conversations around #BlackLivesMatter, #RhodesMustFall and #Luister, looking at the racial experiences of students on campus in a time of change.

Production by Campbell Easton, Jenna Lillie & Nikho Mageza


Basotho ma Xhoseng – Sotho people amongst Xhosa people

Lehlohonolo Matsepe and Prudence Dyofile are two students who identify as Sotho, but find themselves slightly out of place in the Eastern Cape a predominantly Xhosa region. Despite their difficulties, both have found comfort in their own culture and identity while navigating through the cultural melting pot of Rhodes University.

Production by Teboho Ramosili


New in Mzanzi

New In Mzansi is a short documentary that follows the life of Portia Munaka, a hairdresser who recently moved to South Africa in search of a better life for herself and her family.

Production by Siyavuya Makubalo


Letting go

There’s quite a lot of attention given to what happens to boys who grow up without fathers, but there is growing research that suggests that girls are affected just as much, if not more.

Nash Skosana never thought her father’s absence affected her that much. She weighs her feelings and remembers what life was like without a father around.

Production by Rhea MacDonald


Living in Colour

Living in Colour explores the challenges young black South Africans have when it comes to playing an active role in their culture.
Meet Kimerudi Motswai – a student at Rhodes University – as she describes her sense of cultural dislocation.

Production by Nikho Mageza



We live in a society where anything that is different is feared or misunderstood but what happens when you make the conscious decision to stand out? John Wayne Stevens, a body modification artist and performance artist, speaks about what life is like as a heavily modified individual.

Produced by Louise Fuller


2 become 1

2 become 1 explores the impact of growing up without a father through the eyes of Carey Moraladi – a student at Rhodes University. Carey was raised in a single parent household by her mother’s with whom she had an extremely close bond until her passing. This resulted in her having identity and abandonment issues as a teenager as she tried to find herself without much parental support.
After years of separation, she finally reunited with her father and established a relationship just 2 years ago. This has seen a gradual process of trust and re-commitment for both Carey and her father to establish a bond. She still maintains a close relationship with her mother’s family who reside in Grahamstown, especially during the time she has been studying at Rhodes.

Production by Laura Skippers



Five Rhodes University students speak about gender, sexuality and societal pressures that are experienced by members of the LGBTQI+ community. They discuss issues such as labelling, ‘coming out’ and the pervasiveness of heteronormativity within the public sphere. Each student shares their experiences of misconceptions surrounding their gender, sexuality and identities at Rhodes and beyond.
The LGBTQI+ community is increasing in visibility on Rhodes campus. Societies such as OutRhodes and Gender Action Project ensure that members of this community feel welcomed and included. Issues such as heteronormativity, homophobia and misconceptions around gender, sex and sexuality are addressed by these societies in the hopes that the LGBTQI+ community can feel more included and visible. The dissemination of this information is vital so people are more aware of how societal norms exclude and demonise anyone who is not heterosexual. The LGBTQI+ community encompasses many genders, sexuality and orientations allowing some people to live a more fluid life.

Production by Jenna Lillie



The Bon Tempo farm, located not more than a 20 minute drive from Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape, serves as a venue for functions, Sunday lunches, and tours of its extensive priapic garden and phallic gallery. The Phallery, as it’s proprietors Volkher and Claudia Von Lengeling refer to it, houses an extensive collection of phallic themed artworks in a diverse range of mediums. The Von Lengeling’s take us inside The Phallery, and explain their motivation in erecting South Africa’s largest collection of phallic art.

Production by Campbell Easton


A day in the life of Mzodelile Gadu

What difference can R1 or R2 really make in someone’s life? It’s just coins, small change some would say, but for Mzodelile Gadu it’s his livelihood. It is the difference between whether his family will go to bed hungry or not. It is the difference between educating his children and having them stay home. As a car guard he relies on these coins to survive.

Produced by Jenna Lillie and Siyavuya Makubalo