Akin Omotoso on the passion to tell ignored stories

Akin Omotoso on the passion to tell ignored stories

Film director Akin Omotoso is passionate about telling "uncomfortable" stories and giving people who are often ignored by society a voice through films such as Vaya.

During an interview on Trending SA, Akin said that homeless people were often ignored because it was easier for people to do, than get involved to help.

"When you come to people who are on the streets, you go 'it's easy for me to ignore them because if I have to deal with them, then I have to confront my own privilege.' I have to confront what my part is in getting you to a point where you are on the streets and sort of asking me for my help," he said.

Vaya, which stars Mncedisi Shabangu, Zimkhitha Nyoka and Warren Masemola is based on true life stories of homeless people living in the city of Johannesburg.

Having also directed SABC drama series A Place Called Home, which shares a similar concept of giving the homeless a voice, he said he found it important to tell their stories to give them a sense of validation.

Akin explained that telling the otherwise "ignored" stories helped people understand where they come from and where they are going.

"What stories do for us is validate our experience. They let us understand ourselves and be entertaining."

Producer and writer Harriet Perlman, who co-wrote the film Vaya told TshisaLIVE the filmed looked at finding an alternative way to tell Joburg's stories.

"Vaya (The Film) is a fictional story based on a number of stories and events. The book is a collection of real stories. It took a long time to compile it all and we collected accounts from dozens of people and categorized them into sections to tell the story," she said at the time.


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