These are the heroes of South Africa; people we look up to and whose legacies linger.
In addition to the short films, where each subject speaks frankly about their accomplishments, the challenges they have faced and the motivations that have propelled them forward, 21 ICONS further comprises a series of black and white portraits featuring each of these role models. These portraits will appear in the weekend paper on the same day as the short films are flighted.
Filmmaker and photographer Adrian Steirn has succeeded in capturing the essence of what makes these people great in pictures that make an evocative statement about who they are and how they have contributed to our country.
Ginwala’s portrait depicts an icon who is incredibly adaptable, as Frene can turn her mind to almost anything to master any issue within a very short space of time including becoming the first female Speaker of the National Assembly. It also reflects her anecdote about being the travel agent that facilitated people’s departure into Africa in the early 60s,” comments Steirn.
The portraits will be auctioned at a charity event later this year. Ginwala has nominated Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation Trust as the recipient of the funds generated through the sale of her portrait.
Given her upbringing, Ginwala’s entrance into politics was almost inevitable. She explains to Steirn that her political consciousness was created by her parents, who were always reminding her and her sister that they were privileged.
Looking back, she is able to see the mark she left on her country. “I believed I strengthened and transformed the parliament, which is what we needed to do. We started that parliament with a blank sheet; there were no traditions and no precedents as far as the ANC was concerned, because there had been no democracy. If you don’t have democracy, you don’t have a parliament.”
She believes challenges can be overcome, with good leadership and input from all members of society. “We need a South Africa in which the population as a whole – men, women, poor, rich – has a say, knowing their views and attitudes are taken into account,” she states.
Catch 21 Icons on SABC 3 at 20h27 on SABC3.
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