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Local Cape Town girls release film sharing their stories during the Covid-19 pandemic for INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL, 11 OCTOBER 2020

Image Credit: Gary Van Wyk, Black Bean Productions
Image Credit: Gary Van Wyk, Black Bean Productions

Image Credit: Gary Van Wyk, Black Bean Productions


CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA  BRAVE, a non-profit that inspires and empowers girls to be leaders and Black Bean Productions, will release “Staying BRAVE:  during COVID-19”a girl-focused short film on Friday, 9 October to celebrate INTERNATIONAL DAY OF THE GIRL and highlight the resilience of underserved girls and their families despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.  At the same time, the film will be released in New York at Catskill Art Society, where American girls from rural, underserved communities will also share their stories.  Following the release of the film, both BRAVE and CAS will host Family Photo Days in mid-October that will culminate in photo exhibitions and storytelling gatherings in Manenberg and Livingston Manor, New York to share girls’ stories across borders. The film captures intimate moments in the lives of a few young girls in Manenberg, and is part of a larger storytelling initiative organized by BRAVE during lockdown to ensure the voices of young women are not lost in the chaos of a pandemic.

Image Credits: Gary Van Wyk, Black Bean Productions

Image Credits: Gary Van Wyk, Black Bean Productions

In the last six months, girls in South Africa, and around the world, have been confined at home for long periods with family members, or they have been separated from them, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The impact on young people’s mental health and self- esteem, and on the family unit as a whole, is still being determined.  Human Rights Watch Children’s Rights Division has found that the added family stresses related to the pandemic – job loss, isolation, anxieties over health, food security and finances – has heightened the risk of violence at home.  For many children, the COVID-19 crisis has meant limited or no education. More than 91 percent of the world’s students are out of school, due to school closures in at least 188 countries.  The disparities in education, and in particular in internet access for girls (over half the world has no internet access), has left many children far behind and created vast inequalities across race, class, income and geographic divides. Yet the pandemic has also brought families together, breaking down intergenerational divides, and creating life changing opportunities to build stronger relationships between parents, children, siblings, and other family members.

 What’s it like for these families?  Where do girls fit into the picture?  Adolescents and teenagers are best equipped to answer these questions – and one of the most impactful ways for them to do so is through filmmaking, photography and storytelling.

On Friday, 9 October 2020, BRAVE, in partnership with Black Bean Productions, will release a short film, “Staying BRAVE: during COVID-19”, which was co-created with young women from BRAVE, an NGO based in Manenberg and the Black Bean Productions team. The film captures some of the intimate moments in the lives of a few young women and their families, amplifying their voices and shining a light on their resilience overcoming the challenges of lockdown, lack of education, and isolation.  The film will be released and can be viewed on the BRAVE Instagram platform –

Amahn Heuvel, BRAVE Senior Leader, said that “this film shows the confidence and creativity that young girls demonstrate in the face of unprecedented hardships.”

Following the release of the film on International Day of the Girl, BRAVE, an NGO that inspires and empowers girls to be leaders, will host their second BRAVE Family Photo Day in Manenberg in late October, bringing together girls and their families to view family portraits taken in September 2020, and to hear stories, poetry, and films from some of the BRAVE Junior Girls about their lives, dreams, and experiences living with their families over the last six months.  The photographs will be taken by local photographer Sipho Mpongo to bring together families at a time of continued uncertainty to celebrate their resilience and raise awareness about the challenges facing girls at this time.  The photos will be shared at a public outdoor exhibition on 21 November, then the girls and their families will be able to take home their photographs to display them in their own homes.

Chesney Moses, one of the BRAVE Junior Girls, says, “Being able to tell my story, in my own words, helped me realize that I could overcome any obstacles during lockdown, and inspired me to continue my education and my writing.”  Here is a short poem by Chesney:

Chesney Moses

My community is rough

It is tough

My community is full of gangsters

It is very contagious

My community is noisy at all times

My community is open

It also is full of surprises


My community is free

It is loved

My community is incredible

My community is open minded

The community I live in is fascinating

It is happy and unbothered

My community is bold and strong

My community is just not enough.


To find out more about the film and Family Photo Day, visit BRAVE on social media at Instagram @brave_rockgirl or  go to or contact

Amahn Heuvel at 081 409 2481 or



BRAVE inspires and empowers underserved girls to be leaders through travel and adventure.   Founded in 2010 by ten-year old girls from Manenberg who wanted to make their lives and community safer, the girl-led non-profit organization has now reached over 900 girls and their families, creating a network of resilient, confident leaders.  BRAVE partners with the design, film, travel and media industries to share girls’ stories and amplify their voices. This film was made possible due to generous donations from Uthando SA, Even Ground and Charlize Theron African Outreach Project.



 Black Bean is an independent film production company based in Cape Town, South Africa that produces high quality documentary and commercial film with cause-related, and purpose filled content at their core.

Date issued: 7 October 2020

By: BRAVE and Black Bean Productions

Contact: Amahn Heuvel at 081 409 2481 or