The documentary chronicles the story of the involvement of Michael Dingake in the liberation struggle of South Africa who served 15 years in prison on Robben Island after being arrested in then Rhodesia. Staff Writer GOSEGO MOTSUMI reports
After it was submitted to Sotambe International Film and Arts Festival in Lusaka, Zambia in May through FilmFreeway, local documentary film “Ties That Bind” scooped the Best Documentary Award-Southern Africa.
An elated film producer Mpho Dintwa said the award meant a lot for him as an independent producer to finally realise that his work is recognised and appreciated by other people despite the challenges and lack of industry framework in Botswana.
“It also affirms that you are not far off the radar and can only improve from there,” he noted. “It is also to inspire those who think it is not possible. One’s belief is the key to moving forward.”
Ties that Bind
The documentary chronicles the story of the involvement of Michael Dingake in the liberation struggle of South Africa and the entire region. Dingake, a native of Bobonong, went to South Africa to study and later got involved in the politics of the country, supporting the ideologies of the South African Communist Party and the ANC.
From being an elected party official in Alexandra, Johannesburg Dingake rose to power within the organisation until he was arrested at Figtree in then Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) while en route to Lusaka, Zambia. He was sent to Robben Island in 1965 where he spent 15 years in prison.
Dingake alongside Mandela
Michael Dingake represents a number of lesser known but very important liberation struggle figures. The struggle against apartheid is personified by internationally revered icons such as Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, Oliver Reginald Tambo, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and the late Ahmed Kathrada, among others.
The roles of these individuals have been depicted in feature films and biopics repeatedly over the past two to three decades. These struggle heroes and heroines, however, existed side by side with some of the most committed and reliable colleagues whose involvement hardly receives any spotlight.
Said Dintwa: “Another angle that Dingake brings to the liberation struggle is the involvement of the regional bloc (SADC) in the fight against the oppressive regime in South Africa that is the key involvement of foreign nationals from neighbouring countries in the struggle.
“The task remains ours to recognise and honour our heroes while we still have them with us.”
DID YOU KNOW?
The documentary got its first recognition at Durban Film Mart Content Shop in 2021 where it was selected to be among the top five documentaries in Africa. “After submitting your film, it goes through a jury panel to select the winner,” film producer Mpho Dintwa told Time Out.
Explaining the latest award, producer Dintwa noted: “After submitting your film, it goes through a jury panel to select the winner,” film producer Mpho Dintwa told Time Out.
“The Sotambe International Film and Arts Festival was held in Lusaka from the 17th September until the 24th which was the award night. I did not manage to attend the festival since I am currently in the UK.”