Post-Apartheid Property Struggle: Film "Sifuna Okwethu (We Want What's Ours)"

To be honest, most of what I learned about South African apartheid and the ending of apartheid in the early-90s was from watching the classic sitcom, "A Different World." I had no clue what it really meant to "divest from South Africa", but I knew what was happening in the motherland was bad. Fast forward some 20 years later and the effects of apartheid are still very much real for many South African families.

"Sifuna Okwethu (We Want What's Ours)", follows the story of one family caught in a bitter struggle to reclaim their land. The Ndolila family were once - and arguably, STILL - owners of a plot of land that was stolen from them by the apartheid government.

The Ndolilas were evicted from their land and later, the land was sold to a bank. The bank built homes on the property and moved in new families. The Ndolilas returned and became squatters on their family land.

The documentary, directed by Bernadette Atuahene, an Associate professor of Law at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law,  details the complexities of property ownership, where the Ndolila family is not only battling against the bank, but also against the new homeowners. It is a battle between old and new; rich and poor; black against black. Viewers are invited to imagine their own resolution to the conflict and decide 'whose land is it anyway?'.

More information about the film can be found at www.discwebsite.org. To host a screening, contact jessicalmoran@gmail.com.

 

 

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