Every Country with a South Asian diaspora has a story to tell, South Africa is no different. The 16th November will be the country’s 150th anniversary of Indians arriving to South Africa as indentured labourers from the then Port of Madras in Tamil Nadu. The SOS Truro docked into Durban harbour (situated in the then Natal) and with it, it brought the hope and dreams of many men and woman who would assume their jobs as indentured labourers in the cane fields and tea estates of Natal (now Kwazulu-Natal). Durban has now developed into South Africa’s hub of Indian activity, the population of Indians in South Africa comprises of almost 1.3 million, 650 000 of which belong to a Tamil ancestry.
The SOS Belvadere, arrived in South Africa from north west India ten years later, bringing with it merchants and traders who settled in the Easterly parts of the Cape Province which is today known as the Eastern Cape.
Though community’s have developed and moved away from their linguistic and indentured roots till this day many farms still exist in parts of northern Kwazulu-Natal. As South Africa begins to progress with globalisation changing the Indian mindset a story of some sort needed to be told in order to help us remember the toil and struggle of our fathers.
The 17th of October marked an epic day for South African cinema, as, for the first time, a South African film had a trailer released before the movie itself.
“White Gold” is an inspiring story by Jayam Moodley which chronicles the journey of a group of young Indians who leave their mother land in search of riches in a land which was described to them as having the pavements littered with gold.
As the film’s poster was revealed, one could only get emotional shivers, as many Indians decedents gathered at the launch, read the iconic caption…
“They came for treasure and left a legacy”
Jayam Moodley was also responsible for the direction of the film, and she maintained that this film was purely driven by passion that a true account of what happened to our forefathers must be told.
“To make this movie, much hard work and determination was needed. Sleep has evaded most of us during the last two years but the cast and crew decided that we will only sleep in 2011 once the movie is wrapped up” she chuckled.
Executive producer Dinesh Naidoo explained that this movie would be something of a novel experience to many movie goers in SA and it is a giant step in the right direction for South African Indian Cinema. “As a community we must create hype about this movie and ‘White Gold’ must be supported, since this movie would definitely appeal to South African audiences if not audiences worldwide!”
Vignesh Sankaran plays one of the supporting roles in the film and he says that shooting the movie was an absolute blast! “The movie is certainly something that would appeal to a young market here in SA, especially the Tamil youth since most of the actors are young and it may help them find some appreciation for their ancestral language and their roots after watching this film.
The movie is set to release to South African audiences on 16 November 2010 and an international audience thereafter.
Thrineshen Moodley (c) thamarai.com