Forgotten women of Marikana raise their voices in new documentary

A new documentary titled Mama Marikana hopes to change perceptions of the women at Marikana as mere victims of circumstances so that people can see them as agents of change in their community.

Sikhala Sonke Women’s Organisation (We Cry Together), which is deeply involved in producing the documentary, was formed in retaliation to the lack of support women were given after the shootings.  Although women were deeply affected by the the events at Marikana, the general narrative concerning the massacre has been particularly masculine, with a focus on the predominantly male miners, police, politicians and Lonmin management staff involved.

Sikhala Sonke’s mandate has been to push social development in Marikana and to hold both Lonmin and the government accountable for the killing by taking care of the families of the slain miners.

The organisation’s previous chairwoman and founder, Primose Sonti,was appointed as a member of parliament for the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in 2014.

Speaking to The Daily Vox, chairwoman Thumeka Magwanqana said the documentary showed that the women of Marikana were part of the bigger picture and not just an addition.

“We were also there at the mountain when the shootings happened, but we were barely ever mentioned,” Magwanqana said. “That is why we started Sikhala Sonke, to show that we are strong women and we are not just victims. We take initiatives and we are making our community better in all the ways that we can.”

Since the departure of Sonti to Parliament, Magwanqana has taken up the role of leading the movement and her community. In the trailer, a woman says the work Sonti and Mangwanqana do with Sikhala Sonke is the voice women in Marikana need.

The documentary is currently in post-production and the release date is yet to be confirmed.

Watch the Mama Marikana trailer:

Mama Marikana Thundafund Trailer from Aliki Saragas on Vimeo.

– Featured image via Mama Marikana Facebook page.