Mitchells Plain activist makes doccie to challenge perception of Cape Flats
- Amazon's 'No-Go Zones' documentary series depicts Rocklands in Mitchells Plain as a crime-ridden hell-hole
- Rocklands resident and activist Naeem Mallick has teamed up with friends to produce his own documentary challenging stereotypes of so-called coloured people
"A deadly no-go zone... Ruled by the Ugly Americans... Even the police fear for their lives..."
That's the description of Rocklands, Mitchells Plain in an episode of Amazon's documentary series No-Go Zones: The World's Toughest Places.
Activist and filmmaker Naeem Mallick has lived in Rocklands all his life and is on a mission to change the perception of so-called coloured areas and their communities.
In conversation with Sara-Jayne King, Mallick says he experienced the Amazon production as "a liver punch".
Together with friends Brandon Collins and Rudi Cube he has produced his own doccie to challenge current stereotypes.
Perception is reality and we believe what we are shown... and anything that emanates from a belief or a belief system is powerful and dangerous simultaneously.Naeem Mallick, Activist and filmmaker
It's like Paul Adams being called faeces. It was more than just a so-called nickname, it was an attempt to destabilise the belief he had in himself!Naeem Mallick, Activist and filmmaker
I just wanted to change the narrative; inform, uplift, whatever it takes to get out of this psychological hamster wheel we've inherited... Those prostitutes [for example] are not even from our area. They're from Goodwood side.Naeem Mallick, Activist and filmmaker
Mallick acknowledges that Rocklands is a dangerous place (a far cry from Clifton!), but points out this does not define it.
What I can tell you is there are more good people than bad people. However, the bad actions outweigh the good people's intentions or actions.Naeem Mallick, Activist and filmmaker
Movies that become popular that feature coloured characters tend to show them negatively, comments Mallick.
And this does not help the affected communities in any way.
Mallick cites _Fiela se Kind _as one positive example, as it tells the story of someone overcoming adversity.
I think [the group] Die Antwoord has a big role in this because they are encouraging it, for their own clout.Naeem Mallick, Activist and filmmaker
"There are good people who come from these places, God-fearing people. There are lawyers, doctors, you name it! They are not being highlighted."
Mallick describes what he wants people to take away from his documentary as "knowledge of self".
It gives you confidence to move forward. That is gold, because most of our youth don't know themselves.Naeem Mallick, Activist and filmmaker
I don't know who my great-great-grandfather is - somewhere along the line the link was broken.Naeem Mallick, Activist and filmmaker
We should know why places are named as they are and how we ended up in this situation... We didn't choose to be here, we were put here!Naeem Mallick, Activist
I just want to educate and uplift and tell so-called coloured people: Anything is possible and believe in yourself a bit more!Naeem Mallick, Activist and filmmaker
Watch the doccie below (and scroll to the top of the article to listen to the interview)