Vuma has released its much-anticipated My Community Cooks documentary on YouTube. The film follows some of Soweto’s uniquely talented creatives, who showcased their abilities at the Soweto Theatre earlier in 2021, bringing their inspiring stories to life.

The doccie shines a light on the impact of connecting like-minded creators around the country, delving into the challenges faced in their communities, and how they’ve managed to overcome these obstacles to remain relevant.

The Morara Wine Emporium
Morara Wine Emporium

Incredible stories

Says Lianne Williams, Head of Marketing at Vuma, “Our creative sectors have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic. As a technology company, we understand the role that connectivity can play in enabling access to economic opportunities for creative individuals and their businesses. Through the My Community Cooks platform, creatives have been able to adapt to a new way of showcasing themselves and engaging with their markets.”

This is demonstrated by My Community Cooks’ mentors and partners, adds Williams. “We share the incredible stories behind how Mnikelo Mangciphu’s Morara Wine Emporium has shattered wine stereotypes in the community and taken their business online; why Mmasechaba Nonyane and Relebogile Kgoadi – founders of the acclaimed food, music, and art platform, Native Rebels – are using the internet to connect with other creatives during the pandemic; and even why quick-stepping dance pioneer and actor, Sthembiso ‘Madamo’ Makhanya, switched from sbujwa to Pantsula dancing.”

Sthembiso ‘Madamo’ Makhanya
Sthembiso ‘Madamo’ Makhanya

Famous dishes

Among other inspirational narratives, viewers also go back in time with self-taught head chef, Mpho Phalane, to discover the inspiration behind some of her famous dishes.

The My Community Cooks documentary, which explores Soweto as a melting pot for undiscovered talent, captures where some of these talented creatives grew up, what inspired them to begin creating, and how they’re helping other creatives in their communities.

“By giving these local creatives and trendsetters a voice and a platform to share their journeys, we can encourage them to grow and inspire others to innovate and create,” Williams explains about the purpose of the documentary, which serves as a reminder that South African communities have powerful and beautiful stories to tell.

As a result of the overwhelming impact the My Community Cooks programme had on South Africans from all walks of life, Vuma has hinted at the possibility of expanding the initiative to other sectors.

“Our My Community Cooks programme nurtured talent in the country’s hidden creative hubs, developed skills, and created employment opportunities that empower communities. So, we couldn’t pass up on an opportunity to extend the benefits of this platform to even more industries,” concludes Williams.

What: My Community Cooks YouTube
Social media: #MyCommunityCooks  #VumaCommunity