Just a year ago MTV South Africa aired the very controversial “The People VS The Rainbow Nation” documentary by Lebogang Rasethaba. The powerful politically rife film/documentary came out during the #FeesMustFall protests of which it is centred around.
The People VS the Rainbow Nation offered impressive visuals with its cinematography and sound direction. Such impressive direction was well suited to give a calming effect, contrasting the heavy topics being unapologetically tackled. Topics addressed ranged from the #FeesMustFall protest, #ZumaMustFall protest, patriarchy to ‘white privilege’. Many different people took part in the interviews expressing their views, from university students, rights activists and some celebrities; giving intriguing and compelling arguments. Free tertiary education was a common sentiment, with many pointing out the absurdity of government officials saying it can’t be possible while they’re indulging in corruption. In South Africa, the racial tensions have always been increasing due to the wealth gap between races, with African natives being down at the bottom.
On the issue of patriarchy, we say it was tackled down during apartheid. However, The People VS The Rainbow Nation also explores how being a white male has traditionally unfairly come with privileged advantages. For the many poor young black women, they face catcalling and even as far as being sexually assaulted. Most of the challenges brought by patriarchy have been a myriad of socioeconomic problems. Rape culture also came up quite frequently, with many young women not feeling safe on university campuses or on their way to such spaces. Access to higher education itself being a mammoth of a task for African natives, reflecting on how so much still hasn’t changed when it came to racial privileges.
So What’s the Solution?
For a solution, it became clear that starting from the bottom would make a difference. Dismantling patriarchy and racial wealth inequality starts from an education level. The South African government can not continue to ignore the misery it has brought to those it promised to care for in 1994.
The people versus the Rainbow nation was a refreshing and honest take on the state of the South Africa. When young people voice their opinions they have continuously been silenced. Many of the challenges of apartheid have manifested into patriarchy, rape culture, corruption and the extreme racial wealth gap.
MTV South Africa is also planning to air a much-needed sequel, “The people versus Patriarchy” on the 29th November. Judging from their trailer the sequel is only going to be more impactful. The more we have documentaries like these in mainstream media the scourge of violence against women and children might be effectively reduced, one thing is for certain…it will start much-needed conversations.