an auto-ethnographic documentary film
in association with The University of Cape Town
"same hearts, different skin"
Not too long ago, the law in South Africa stated that black and white people could be arrested for mixing. Can this young couple overcome their different worlds or do countries collide?
A documentary that focuses on the lives of an interracial family residing in South Africa during post-apartheid era.
When an English woman met a township man, nothing could prepare them for the challenges they would face together. An unexpected pregnancy solidified their connection and they continued to grow into a family.
Despite vast differences in their culture, heritage and life experiences, this documentary explores how they make it work in a country that still suffers from the memory and devastation of racial segregation.
When Rachel & Yonelisa first met in Cape Town 2017, their friendship confused people, even themselves. Rachel came to South Africa from an affluent county in England to study a Masters Degree and had little knowledge of the country and its rich history. Their first encounter occurred on the street whilst Yonelisa was busking. This was a daily task for Yonelisa who traveled from Gugulethu to the city everyday to earn money from singing and playing guitar.
Rachel was captivated by his aura and they had an instant bond. Little did they know that their close friendship would never end. The challenges they proceeded to overcome were nothing compared to the surprise of becoming pregnant. It took them months to decided a way forward. Rachel declared to Yonelisa that "if we are to have this child, then you must never leave my side." The fairytale continued with a disheartening plot twist; Yonelisa was not granted a visa to England and therefore missed the birth of his child.
After waiting 2 months to see each other, Rachel returned to South Africa with their newborn baby. This did not stop their love and commitment to each other as later that year they exchanged vows in a Wiccan ceremony.
All was well but something felt missing. Yonelisa sensed a calling to his ancestors and they traveled to his family home in the Eastern Cape of South Africa where he and his family performed a gratitude ceremony. This was to introduce his wife and child to his ancestors, which they did by slaughtering a sheep, praying with imphepho burning, drinking umqombhoti and engaging in many hours of dancing and singing. It was a successful welcoming into the Xhosa culture and their love continues to grow stronger despite forces against them.