surfing soweto

programme information

Duration

1 x 90'

Production Company

Sarah Blecher, Cinga Productions

YOP

2010

Definitions

SD

Episode Information

Meet Prince (AKA Bitch Nigga) and Lefa at Merafe Station in Soweto as they await the arrival of train 9323 en route from Dube and Khwezi to Park Station, Johannesburg. They target this train every morning because it is so crowded that the overcommitted security guards are too busy keeping order to worry about the strange antics of the “cheeseboys” on top of the carriages. The so-called “cheeseboys” ride for the thrill of it – they’re the poets, the “soul surfers” of this sport as opposed to the “Mvonqas” who surf in order to rob people - after all, what better place to hide after picking a pocket than on top of a moving train! Alcohol is very much a part of the surfers’ daily routine with school barely getting a look-in. Many head straight for the bars and pool clubs of Joubert Park after their early-morning surf across Soweto. Despite their bravado many of these surfers are desperate to change their lives. Of the three we feature, all had lost their fathers at an early age and have been brought up by their mothers. They search for love and acceptance, desperate not to join the ranks of the faceless, unemployed, unemployable and unremarkable. Surfing Soweto tracks the lives of these three surfers over the course of four years as they look for opportunities and motivation to change their lives. Will they find it? Will the death of a close friend killed in front of them on a moving train be the incentive they have been waiting for?

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