Xoliswa Sithole shares her wisdom with us and leaves us inspired to create a better Africa

Inspiration

1. What drives me is, is a passion for justice. Politically I’m a socialist and I believe that...in this world we should collectively work trying to create a more egalitarian society.
2. The sky is your blackboard and you can write whatever verse you need to write.
3. It has only ever been a small group of committed people that have actually ever changed the world.
4. If we don’t collectively become active, put our heads on the line, give something, do something with our lives Africa is going to be a perpetual mess.
5. You are black you’re a woman, your people have a long way to go and it’s your job to work within those structures.
6. You know I’m just blessed man you know I’m just one of those people that God just opened so many doors for.
7. One of the reasons why I’m a successful film maker in this country is because, not I think I know, I’m standing on the shoulders of giants you know people died for me to be sitting where I am, the revolution wasn’t free wasn’t easy and what has been my place in that.
8. Tell the story that you want to watch.
9. When I’m in the shop, old as I am, when there’s a nice song playing, I just start dancing. I don’t care. Even when I’m pushing a trolley. And also, one of the things that I do; I talk to myself a lot. But as I get older, I’m not shy, even when people catch me speaking to myself.
10. I would listen to Stevie Wonder, Village Ghetto Land… joy inside my tears, yes, there was joy inside my tears.
11. What gives me hope is when I look at people who have fought to change things in this world. You look at someone like Yunus Mohammed, the guy who started the Grameen Bank.
12. I spend a lot of time in the negative, but I’m actually an eternal optimist. Because I know that I am phenomenal, I was made in God’s image, and I was born to shine.
13. When you shine your light, you are giving other people permission to do the same.

Wisdom

1. I don’t know what people can do I just think it’s in your heart, what you choose to do with your life. Its simple things you know, how much are you paying your domestic worker?
2. A child who must know their space in the world, a child who must claim their space in the world, a space in the sun. A child who knows that they have the ability to make a difference in this world.
3. It starts with you, be the change that you want to see in the world, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.
4. If you choose in life to see God in everybody, you will find God in that person.
I’m a person who really believes that it’s society thats actually determining how the human being turns out, so I think we are all creations of God so if you find the god in somebody, the person will respond to that.
I also believe in the Corrective justice System I believe in that, because I really believe human beings can be can be helped.
If we just took enough time to put in more resources in terms of people’s basic needs to give people decent wages and not be in a world ’cause no we are in super capitalist system now whereby it’s about squeezing people, it’s about maximisation of profits, of course you are going to create what we are creating now.
The education system is so bad for poor people and it’s not getting better and with a very uneducated populace, and when I say uneducated I’m talking serious stuff.
That a child’s most crucial time is zero to five so if you don’t harness a child’s potential....you are not harnessing the country’s wealth, the country’s human resources, the country’s future leadership.
Focus on hard work, because actually hard work does pay off.
It’s really about a value system that we need to start inculcatin in terms of the way we live, ourselves as people as Africans and than that will be you know what we leave to our kids.
I instill that she should have respect for everybody whether it’s the guy who sweeps the streets, when she meets him she must greet him, she must look him in the eye with the same respect that she’s going to give to, say someone like Nelson Mandela.
When you walk among kings and you also walk amongst the poor that you keep your head a level above you at the same level, than you’re a man my child.
I have never been driven by money. I’ve always been driven by something bigger. And maybe it’s because I know that I am a very, very wealthy person. I just know that I am an incredibly wealthy person, and my sense of self-worth has never been determined by an address or a car. It’s never been… I am aware of, uh, my time and place. I was given an incredible sense of self growing up. And, I’ve never been motivated by money.
Follow your bliss. Do what you love doing. The rest will follow. And don’t chase after money, don’t chase it. The money will come. Don’t chase after money. The money will come. Follow your bliss, provide a good service. Follow your bliss.

Interesting to Know

1. I’m raising a daughter a daughter who likes Barbie and are battling with Barbie’s image because it doesn’t represent her image and a mom who is very politically conscious and I worry about images around whiteness, about my child being exposed to white standards of beauty because they end up having conflict within themselves at some point.
2. I work with the most talented camera woman in South Africa, called Natalie Haarhoff. She’s the best there is, you know, in the world. I wouldn’t be where I am, were it not for those people in terms of supporting my vision continuously.
3. Who needs judgment, you know? That’s very important. For women especially. Because we live in a patriarchal society. And patriarchy is there to put women in their place. That’s what it’s there for.
4. Follow your bliss, because that bliss will give you courage to take the road less travelled, to walk into the unknown and still stand your ground. Because that bliss will give you your faith, because faith is about saying this is what I want to do, I have no idea where it’s going to take me, but I know it feels right. That courage; one of the most important virtues. You know, but when you are in that space, you know, when you are at that space, with your oneness with God and follow in your bliss. Everything else, you know, will happen. For, and also the other thing as well that’s very important is that every time you want to do something, examine your intention. Intention is very important. It’s why you want to do what you want to do. And wallflowers never change history.

Know How

1. The first documentary that I made… I put my own money in. Children of the Revolution… I put most of my money in. I’m failing to raise money for that film. And it happens.
2. I make documentaries from a space of response. I respond to a situation, and I say no, I need to tell that story. The issue of corrective rape, it was a response… to what was happening to black women living in townships in this country.
3. To be able to have that kind of access and for people give you that kind of access. And for you to be able to interpret it into images, it’s easy shining a light upon something. And to be able to wish that I’ll never fight every day, what more could I wish for.

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Here is a short Trailer for the documentary

 

Go to the Documentaries site now, to find out more: http://zimbabweschildren.org/

I would also suggest visiting True Vision’s site that has an extended trailer and more information. Click here to view it:

If you would like to see a shortened highlights version of the interview or a full transcript of the entire interview, click here. 

 

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