Pictured; Asithandile, left. Busiswa, right.

Busiswa Mahonono

FunDza traveled to Johannesburg on Saturday, 12 March, for an activation at Ya Bana Village for Children, located outside Pretoria. The visit aimed to deliver books and showcase FunDza’s online platform #LoveWriting to youth. FunDza delivered the activation in partnership with South Africa’s biggest youth television show, Hectic Nine 9. 

When we entered Ya Bana Village, we received the warmest welcome. The children invited us to join the game, and despite a language barrier, we soon joined in and had great fun!

The Hectic Nine-9 film crew arrived later and filmed the Ya Bana children. Once they completed filming the children, they turned their attention to us. Due to time constraints, Hectic Nine 9 could only interview one FunDza staff member. My colleague Asithandile spoke on behalf of FunDza.

In television and film, there’s a saying, “hurry up and wait” – where there’s a great deal of planning that is done beforehand, but then you spend time waiting as things may not pan out the way you planned! And that’s what happened at this film shoot! We were still able to shoot more scenes with the children, but due to time constraints, we couldn’t show our new writing platform to the children, but they seemed thrilled with our books!

After the filming, while waiting for our transport back to the airport, we chatted with the Hectic Nine-9 team, preparing for a shoot in Mpumalanga. They were very impressed with FunDza’s programmes and expressed interest in working with us again in the future. 

I wish the day had ended there, but during our film shoot, we heard flights from the airline we were booked on were grounded. We headed to the airport, and it was chaos. We couldn’t leave until the next day. Despite the nerves and stress, traveling with Asithandile made the journey more enjoyable, as he kept a calm head. 

We had a turbulent flight back, but I remember thinking everything that took place during that weekend was worth traveling to Ya Bana Village. To be in the presence of such a willingness to do better and be better is everything that FunDza stands for. We hope to do more in the future.