JOHANNESBURG – Fietas, a historic neighborhood in Johannesburg, became home to many South Africans from different origins when it became a settlement in the early 1920s. However, in the late 1960’s, the Apartheid government forcibly removed residents from the area.
The neighbourhood was partially demolished but the scars remain with the people who belonged to this community.
Film makers Imraan Jeeva, Nidaa Hussain and Shakeel Garda spoke to Salaamedia’s Mariam Mia on Inspirational Stories to share the background behind the documentary.
The project is currently in the phase of raising funds and getting support from the community of Fietas. “We need to make this project now rather than later because the people that lived in the area are very elderly and we need to preserve the stories while we can,” said Jeeva.
Garda said he understands Fietas to have been a thriving economic hub, where even spirituality thrived and people formed bonds that have been sustained throughout Apartheid era and beyond.
“It is important for us to tell the stories because those who knew Fietas, lived there and benefitted from its vibrant community. [People] almost fail to remember those memories and we want to ensure that does not occur again,” said Garda.
He added, “[we should] remember the place that came under such harsh laws that the Apartheid government placed on races and, if we don’t continue to tell the story, it is likely that this topic could be put to shelf in the future”.
It is amazing [that] after decades things still feel raw to people – Nidaa Hussain the project’s researcher and videographer
However, the documentary is facing a few challenges, especially that of funding. A lot of people who resided in Fietas during its vibrant days have passed on, others have left Fietas for other local and international destinations. The lack of contribution of old family photographs or video recording to put together a documentary has also been highlighted as an issue.
If you would like to contribute to the documentary by providing funding, images or videos contact firstname.lastname@example.org or join the Fietas and Vrededorp Facebook page to connect with the community.
Watch the full discussion here: