In a community where the youth seems to have lost hope due to rising social issues and lack of skills development training for the youth (especially in arts and culture), a youth group in Lawley (south of Johannesburg) has taken their time, talents and effort into making a movie called “Lawley Psycho”. With help from well known actors Ernest Msibi (known as Amos from Uzalo) who was the director, and Simphiwe Nkosi (known as Chirwani from eMzini Wezinsizwa), the movie is scripted by Monarch Mashiwane and Clement Zwane and is about the social issues the community of Lawley is currently facing.
Lawley Psycho aims to reach out to the youth and community of Lawley and beyond to all communities in the nation, including parents, victims of rape, drug addicts and those who suffer from depression. The movie is set in Lawley and reflects on the youth lifestyle of Lawley. In preparation for the movie a three-week acting workshop took place in a full rented house to cut transport costs for artists who stay outside Lawley.
“In the movie we see a teenage committing suicide because of depression and this is what we see everyday in Lawley, not to mention the abuse, GBV, drug abuse and teenage pregnancy,” said Clement Zwane.
“These issues aren’t raised or addressed properly in our community but we hope this movie will. We also hope that people will be able to recognise the talent that lies within the township youth but because most talents aren’t captured due to lack of resources and investment in townships”, Zwane said.
According to LaVass Mabula, one of the producers of the film, they financially struggled in the process as they had no sponsors. Some people promised to help but disappointed them on the last minute but so far the movie has received so much acceptance and appreciation from people of Lawley.
The launch of the Lawley Psycho took place at Lawley Ext 2 Primary Hall at the beginning of March. It was was a big success as the people of Lawley came together to view the movie and it also inspired a lot of youth who have a passion in arts and acting.
So far the movie has been submitted and commissioned for Mzansi Magic and Mabula believes that “the movie is still going to travel and reach the right sights and as well educate youth all around.”
Mabula added that sponsorship from the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture can help in communities like Lawley where the youth have too much free time to themselves but don’t have programmes or facilities for investing in their passion.
Charlotte Alice Makhoba, an actress in Lawley Psycho spoke about her love for the youth and how it pains her to see their talent and passion go to waste as drugs have taken another level in the community. Makhoba also mentioned how some parents are abusing their children in the name of disciplining them which lead to many of the mental health issues that the youth have today.
Despite all the challenges faced in the making of the Lawley Psycho movie, the youth of Lawley have taken a stand to capture the issues that affect them in their township and raise awareness through the art form of film. This is remarkable and must be championed.
This article was submitted on 16 May 2022. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.