Ezibeleni YouTubers are using new media to tell the stories of young people making moves in their community.
Photo Scamto, the brainchild of photographer Olwethu Maplanka and local musician Khulasande Mfengu, is a fresh new documentary series that takes a deep dive into the lives of youth in fashion, business, music and other industries.
The channel seeks to show off what innovative youngsters are doing to bring change into their lives and the community while also inspiring others to get up and chase their dreams.
“We want to give a platform to young people who come from areas like Ezibeleni, where there seems not to be many opportunities, a chance to express themselves and their goals. Through their stories we believe those that come after us can be inspired to also pursue their passions,” said Mfengu.
Two episodes have aired exploring the journey and vision of Maplanka on his growth from photography to producer of the video series. It follows the life of an up-and-coming artist Buntubomzi Sikolo and his journey traversing the challenges of wanting a career in music.
Mfengu, who is the host of the show, said there has been a great reception and enthusiasm about what the platform is trying to achieve. “A lot of people are asking why we have gone quiet but the truth is that the electricity challenges in Ezibeleni have affected production of the lined up episodes. We have a lot of content and many other people yet to be interviewed.”
From here Mfengu believes the sky is the limit for the channel as he believes it explores a niche that is yet to be fully utilised, not only in Komani but the Eastern Cape.
“The are many stories yet to be told. We are only starting in Komani. We want to feature other youths in the province from towns like East London and even isolated villages. As it grows we hope we will have partners who will buy into the vision and grow with us. Youth has to now know there is no need to go to Johannesburg to get things done but that it is possible where they are to follow their dreams,” added Mfengu.
Next episodes will be featuring local comedian Siviwe Lutseke and East London-based a cappella group Soul Melodies whose member is currently on Idols.