We Are Zama Zama

In South Africa’s abandoned mines, men scrabble for gold, using hand hammers and bicycle head-lamps, often remaining underground for days, often without food. Their survival is dependent on their hands – and luck. They are gamblers, or Zama Zama, who hope to scrounge a living from exhausted veins despite crumbling mineshafts and criminal overlords because at home in Zimbabwe they have nothing, there is nothing. The video footage is shot by miners with GoPros and in spite of harrowing conditions, we see uplifting camaraderie, caring collaboration and inspiring good cheer, as we are taken into their subterranean lives, guided by director-producer-anthropologist Rosalind Morris. Above ground, they smile. Gangsters prey on them, and the women cough from the glass-like dust of the rocks they crush by hand. But still they smile. An extraordinary story of human endurance, not to be missed.

Screening

Online from Tue 10 May

Director

Rosalind Morris

Editor

Pascal Troemel

Cinematographer

Ebrahim Hajee

Sound Design

Musa Radebe

Bonus Content

Join Daily Maverick’s Richard Poplak and American documentarian Rosalind Morris as they discuss the future of migrancy and the long twilight of the gold industry. A profound companion piece to We are Zama Zama.

you may also like