Children need to dream and a group of Bay photographers are helping them do just that with their Keep A Dream Alive project launching tomorrow in two township schools.
Led by Tsidi Limba – producer and host of the Fix My Bizz television show on Bay TV – and professional photographer Loyiso Mali, the team of six will visit Kwazakhele’s Ilitha and Tsume primary schools.
They will photograph the pupils as who they aspire to be in future, then print and frame this so that as they grow up and go through life’s challenges, the image can inspire hope and focus.
“We asked the kids to write essays for us, telling us who they dream to be one day and on getting those essays, we were able to select our costumes,” Limba said.
“For Youth Month we picked two schools to pilot the project, then we met the principals and they were more than happy to be part of this.
“We approached other Port Elizabeth-based photographers who saw what we were trying to do and they jumped on board.”
Craig Anderson, Anneli Young, and brothers Ashwell and Ashwin Pretorius make up the team.
One of the first children to be photographed, Kwazakhele primary school pupil Nelisiwe Sompa, 14, would like to be an actress one day.
Her story illustrates the hardships many township children face: Nelisiwe lost her mother last year and is living with her uncle and older cousin. However, Nelisiwe is looking after three younger children in the household and also cleans and cooks for the family.
“This makes it very difficult for her to study and concentrate on her school work,” said Limba.
“Nelisiwe wants to be an actress one day, and on the essay she wrote for Keep A Dream Alive, she explained she wants to be a public figure who will influence change in her community.”
“We are targeting high-poverty schools and homes which may lack the capacity to substantially improve child’s learning,” said Limba, who appealed for corporates to partner with the Keep A Dream Alive team to make a practical difference.