Leaving Mandela Park

Children’s dreams and endeavour of escaping poverty through music and dance.

A heartbreaking story about the dreams of children living in the townships of Cape Town, South Africa. Siseko sings opera escaping the abuse by his father and dreams of becoming an opera singer; Cynthia who wants to become a doctor plays the saxophone while staying out of the hands of gangsters; Guava ran away from home at an early age and now sings kwaito on street corners and sells his own cd’s, while Pinkie lives in the township but goes to school in an up-market, dominantly white area dancing her way out of poverty. And the multitalented shepherd’s boy Siswe does theater at high school while dreaming of become an actor and writer.
We see the chaotic world of the townships through the eyes of these children. They are the heroes who, each in their own way, plan escape routes from the poverty and squalor of their daily existence, and dance and music is notably central in these escape routes.Their dreams form a metaphor for the future of a country that will depend on this young generation.

Feature documentary, 78 min. 2010, 16 mm film.

Director Saskia Vredeveld.