Sunday, October 24, 2021
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Jax Okiro

A Deaf movie that speaks volumes?

As clichéd as it may sound, I have always been (very unashamedly) one of those girls who loves being comfortably couched in front of a good old-fashioned-so-smoochy-it-makes-your-face-feel-fuzzy romantic comedy.  In my eyes, the chick-ier the flick, well, the better.  So, when the media company I work for presented me with the (not so optional) opportunity to preview a film that would appeal more to the sophisticated cinema nouveau appreciator of foreign film, I have to be entirely honest..I wasn’t particularly elated.  That being said, work responsibility overruled my personal preference and with pop corn in hand, I watched “HOME”.

Now, upon the completion of the opening titles, I learnt very quickly that “HOME” isn’t exactly your standard artsy cinema nouveau candidate.  No.  Written for and acted by the Deaf, “HOME” is a 60 minute feature film performed entirely in sign language.  For those who are now wondering if I am deaf, I hate to disappoint, but I am not.  So, how did this self confessed RomCom-aholic manage to understand this beautifully expressive, yet alien language with its very own complex grammar and structure you may ask?  Well, here comes the nifty part.  The “HOME” audience is broad.  Through subtitles, both the hearing and the Deaf can for the first time ever, watch and enjoy a movie together.

The very first of its kind in South Africa, CVC MEDIA, were approached by a local Deaf organization seeking to spread a message of hope to the Deaf community, and together the brain child was born and the rest is well, as they say, history.  As a curious individual who seeks out the ‘WHY?’ with pretty much everything, I decided to do a little research of my own.  I mean, why would an organization invest a lot of time and effort into a medium which for all intents and purposes is extremely dependent on epic music scores and the well executed one liner?  Imagine “The Terminator” without Arnie’s “I’ll be back!”.  Hello, point made!  So, with that in mind, I went on a mission to educate myself about this socio-economic group, which to my surprise and quite frankly now my disgust, is a very overlooked people group in our nation.  There are 600,000 ‘recorded’ Deaf, ‘sign language speaking’ people in South Africa.  This statistic, although sizeable isn’t necessarily accurate.  Statistics of the Deaf have been skewed by many individuals’ inability to complete national census forms or parents of Deaf children never officially registering their children as Deaf.  As a result many precious lives have been marginalized. Particularly in the world of media.  A world that the ‘hearing’ among us are constantly over stimulated by and I know, for one, take it for granted every single day.  And so, enter “HOME”.

HOME MOVIE

Now, if you’re sitting there reading this, able to hear the dull sound of traffic on the street outside or the quiet constant murmur of your computer, please don’t mistake my intention if you think this is some kind of fact packed guilt trip.  No, indeed, it is rather the opposite.  “HOME” is a Deaf movie that speaks volumes for inclusivity, offers  hope, leaving no room for discrimination.  Furthermore, and to my (sorry to say) astonishment, the plot, which is based on a biblical story, is powerfully portrayed by the actors.  Without any audible spoken word and minimal background music (included for the hearing audience), it deals with issues surrounding family and the beauty of forgiveness in the midst of struggle.  This film is a ‘story teller’ with an impactful plot that relates to our humanity without any prejudice toward the viewer.

So, with all that said… intrigued much?  Well, “HOME” is launching nationwide in a local church near you during the weekend of May 24th– 26th  2013.  If at first glance, you, like me, would have said this isn’t your cup of tea, well I challenge you to think a little differently and take a look.  I’m not going to pretend to be any less the loved up RomCom fan, but I have learnt something valuable, not only from the movie’s message but also through daring to embrace that which is different, you can sometimes be pleasantly surprised.  I do wonder if we could all learn to celebrate and support the things that fall outside of our usual tastes, preference and even prejudices,and experience what life looks like for those who have previously been excluded and disqualified.  I’m daring to think that this is possible.  Perhaps “HOME”, being released as a ‘first’, needn’t be a ‘last’?  I guess that choice is ours.

If you would like to find out more about “HOME” or would like to be involved in launching this ground breaking feature film in your local church, please contact us.

What Women Want: The Inside Scoop For Guys

Today we continue our series on men and women in relationships, in particular as it relates to gaining the inside scoop on what women want.

So the last time the ladies and I chatted about relationships, I was led to believe they weren’t confused about what they want in relationships. If however this is true, why is it that there are so many great, decent, hard working, successful, mother- loving single brothers busting their guts, who are still complaining to me that they cannot seem to get into relationship with a good woman?

Brothers, I feel your relationship frustration! Let it be said, if I was a woman, you would be my man! Well, you know what I mean.

Anyway, today I’m taking Tshego, Lee and TC to task over this nonsense and demand some answers.

Take a listen:

Women and Relationships: The Inside Scoop For Guys

The issue of legacy is an important thing for the African male. So it makes sense that relationships would be high on his agenda. Very often I get relationship questions on topics ranging from getting dumped to receiving mixed signals from the opposite sex; or guys simply needing some good advice on how to best position and conduct themselves to be well liked by the ladies.

Based on the number of relational questions from the gents out there, it became very clear to me that we were in need of some serious “Fairer Sex Relational Education”. So I decided to collect some of these queries and got Tshego, Lee & TC into the studio to give the gents the inside scoop as it relates to their biggest relationship challenges. In this podcast, the ladies let the cat out of the bag on First Date Etiquette. Enjoy.

Easter Jesus defeated death

For most of us, Easter is a time of relaxation, family, Easter Eggs, copious amounts of chocolate and bunny rabbits. Many African countries get a long weekend and we  get a chance to  recharge somewhat.

But is that what it is really all about? Is it about stuffing your face with chocolate eggs and taking extended naps?

Easter is actually supposed be a reminder of what Jesus did for us. The true gift He gave us all – eternal and everlasting life. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice by dying on the cross which involved a humiliating and excruciating death. But even that’s not what Easter is really about. Let’s be honest, we all are going to die at some point, right? What made Jesus’ death different and so significant, even 2000 years later, is the fact that He rose again after 3 days! He beat death  and through that act He ensured eternal life for all of us who believe and call on His name. What Satan thought was going to be his finest hour, Jesus turned into being his greatest loss.

Jesus Cross Easter

Jesus broke the curse of death and the chains of the law and made it possible for anyone to enter freely into the gift that He gave us. All we have to do is to accept Jesus as our Lord and Saviour.

So, this Easter time let’s rather try to tell someone else what Easter is really about. Share the amazing  truth of the cross and let it be known that Jesus has given us eternal life.

Now that’s good news!

 

Would you lay down your life?

As Easter weekend approaches and we celebrate the fact that Jesus Christ laid down His life for this needy world, the question comes to mind: Would I freely offer my life for family, friends or even someone I don’t know?

Though I know in my heart I would go to heaven, the thought of being killed terrifies me. Ever wonder why Jesus had drops of blood on his forehead? Maybe He saw what was going to happen to Him in a few hours’ time, yet He still freely gave Himself. Mainly because He was thinking about you and me.

Would I as a confessed Christian really give myself to be tortured, humiliated and killed in someone else’s place? Would I say “Take me, set them free?

In my heart I want to believe that I would be bold enough to utter those words, but…I’m really not sure.

So I cannot judge the disciples that ran away when Jesus was captured – because quite frankly I think the majority of us would’ve done exactly the same thing.

John 15:13

Wait a Minute! Did He Just Say ‘Addicted To Porn’?

Yes, he did just say ‘addicted to porn’.  Being addicted to porn is not only a reality for many men in society but also for men in the church. In last week’s conversation Dany shared his views on manhood with us.  Today we go deeper with this conversation as Dany shares with us about his personal experience of being addicted to pornography.

Thankfully Dany managed to escape the deadly impact of porn on his life by breaking the cycle of the addiction.  Like any addiction, it was a challenge for him but one that he managed to conquer by God’s grace.  In the next video clip, Dany shares with men who may find themselves addicted to porn and gives them guidelines on how to overcome it.

Perhaps you find yourself in the same place Dany once found himself.  Maybe you’re too embarrassed to even talk about it or admit to yourself and others that you have become addicted.  Perhaps you’re scared of being condemned or judged.  If this is true for you, I’d like to encourage you to email me at brothahood@cvcmedia.tv or to make direct contact with Dany Vambili. I promise we won’t judge or condemn you.

The truth is it will not be an easy journey but like the ancient Chinese proverb says, “A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step” – Lao-tzu. May that first step be in the direction of Jesus, because “if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” – John 8:36. 

 

 

Dany Vleads a rap crew called GOC with Raymond The Scribe.  The motto of their movement is to encourage believers to stop ‘playing church’ and start being Christ to a lost world. Established as a rapper, Dany has three One gospel awards as well as a Crown gospel award with Dominion for their video “Kheth’e Yakho”. He is passionate about helping the many silent men in Church to open up about their sexual sins. He believes that until men can be real with each other and help one another to overcome the challenges, they are simply ‘playing church’.

Get angry – Three Little Pigs Video Release

Get Angry

 

Through all the news coverage and more and more explicit movies being released nowadays, we’ve become numb as a society. We are bombarded with death and rape and gang violence on a daily basis. Just driving around, listening to radio or watching television you cannot help but notice all the negative news around you.

It’s everywhere, it’s all around us, and we’ve become hardened to it. The constant bombardment has numbed us down and made us almost immune to the atrocities that happen around us. Many of us have come to a point where we just take violence in our stride. Reading about a girl being raped or someone being murdered evokes about as much emotion as reading the review of the newest gadget or latest movie.

The Three Little Pigs short film, the latest in our series based around fairy tales, is a story portraying bad decisions, alcohol abuse and domestic violence. It juxtaposes the story of the three little pigs with real life and reminds us how violent and unfair life can sometimes be. In a way, it’s a call to get angry again!

 

3 Little Pigs

 

Contrary to popular belief, Jesus also got angry. He got angry at people taking the temple of God for granted, for just going with it and getting familiar with God. It is a good thing when righteous anger gets ignited in our hearts again for things which anger God.

Stop going with the flow. Stop, turn around and take a stand. Get angry, get emotional and get passionate for God’s creation again. Every single life is special and precious. God called us to be a compassionate people, caring for those around us.Get angry about woman being violated, about life being trampled upon. Get angry about people not having enough and not having the resources to do anything about it. Stop the numbness and do something about it.

Get angry!

Manhood Redefined

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This guy is very unconventional, bold, has a history with porn addiction and collects sanitary towels / pads for young women who cannot afford them. Meet Dany V.

We first met each other a few years ago at the first anniversary celebrations of Rough Diamond Projects (who brought the likes of hip hop artists Flame, Da Truth, Sho Baraka & 116 Clique to Africa). At the event I was privileged to connect with some fine South African artists who’d be on the bill as part of the anniversary celebrations.

Most of the artists met each other here for the first time. The weird thing about this though, was the fact that not long after meeting each other, these guys were all openly and honestly sharing from their hearts. From past hurts and growing up without dads to being abused and struggling with sexuality; it was all there and it was very real.

I remember thinking: ‘how desperate do you have to be to share your innermost struggles with men you’re meeting for the first time in your life?’ This was clearly a cry from these men to have a platform where they could be vulnerable and still be real men.

In fact, it was out of this experience and these real life stories that Brothahood was conceptualized and eventually birthed.

Amongst the many stories, one that touched me deeply was that of Dany V. Dany is a Christian, a preacher, an artist and a public personality… but he was struggling with porn addiction. In the midst of an already intimate discussion, Dany’s openness and vulnerability simply took that discussion to another level where real men could lay there burdens down and pray for one another. How does this laying-down-burdens-and-praying-for-one-another business affect one’s manhood? In fact, how do we understand manhood?

Well, I recently caught up with Dany who gladly shared some of personal story with me on camera. In the first part of our conversation though, we talk about manhood. Check it out…

 

Dany V leads a rap crew called GOC with Raymond The Scribe.  Dany VThe motto of their movement is to encourage believers to stop ‘playing church’ and start being Christ to a lost world. Established as a rapper, Dany has three One gospel awards as well as a Crown gospel award with Dominion for their video “Kheth’e Yakho”. He is passionate about helping the many silent men in Church to open up about their sexual sins. He believes that until men can be real with each other and help one another to overcome the challenges, they are simply ‘playing church’.

 

 

Forgiveness – JANET & JOHN – Video Release

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Forgiveness. It’s a pretty easy word to spell, even easier to say, but incredibly difficult to accept. That eleven letter word doesn’t come easy for most of us. In fact, our natural instinct, when approached with facing the word, is to recoil and withdraw ourselves at the risk of being injured further. Forgiveness. Say it as much as you want, the sting of its true meaning remains formidable.

JANET forgiveness

Possibly the most powerful words in the Lord’s prayer are – “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” I often stumble a bit when saying these simple words, more especially the second part; “as we forgive our debtors”. I find myself pausing for a split second and rethinking whether or not I’ve done that very thing the prayer requires of me.  And so a checklist  starts to play out in my mind. Parents. Check. Friends. Check. Girlfriend. Check. Neighbour. Umm… Ex-girlfriend. Umm… Stranger who drove badly this morning. Umm… Waitress who messed up my order. Umm…

As my list grows I find that perhaps, just perhaps, I have some forgiving to do. So I quickly mutter out the words, “I forgive you lady who made me wait twenty minutes for a chicken burger, when I ordered a double cheese burger” and rest assured that I’m in a better space, both mentally and spiritually. When it comes to the more hurtful forgiving, however, I realize that it might just require a little more from me.

JANET SAD

Janet & John, our latest video production, is essentially all about forgiveness, our quest to forgive others and to ask for it in return. The story follows a happy and innocent fifteen-year-old girl, Janet, the apple of her father’s eye, who becomes infatuated with a handsome boy, John. He calls her “the most beautiful girl he has ever met”, but after they have sex, he moves on and completely ignores her. Sad and alone, Janet struggles with her relationship with her father. At her very lowest point she turns to God, asking him to forgive her and restore her.

The real truth about forgiveness, that difficult eleven letter word, is that if we don’t experience it and offer it to others, we will surely suffer. Let us remember, even in the midst of our biggest struggles, to return to God with a repenting heart and allow him to cleanse us. “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.”

There’s A Problem With Democracy..?

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I remember a time when I was not allowed to go to certain beaches or be seated in certain sections of the train. It was a time where I had to call some people boss because my skin colour was considered unworthy under the political dispensation of that time.

Source: blogspot.com

Thankfully that system of oppression has been relegated to the annals of history. Thank goodness for democracy.  As a person previously subjected to political oppression, I now have the guarantee of basic human rights. Thanks to democracy, I now have the freedom of opinion and speech. I have the freedom to exercise my faith without fear of intimidation. Thanks to democracy I have the right to vote like every other citizen of my country.

Source: http://aristotleslackey.files.wordpress.com/2010/05/freedom-for-all.jpg

Honestly speaking though, I sometimes cannot help but think of democracy as a popularity contest, whereby whoever is liked most, gets to call the shots. The more popular phrase ‘majority rules’ of course emphasizes this point more clearly. However this seems pretty exclusive and selfish to me because if democracy favours the majority, then what happens to the concerns or plight of the minority?

Now I’m not trying to advocate any political ideology or disrespecting democracy. I am simply asking, what about the minority; the marginalized who do not agree with the majority or aren’t considered worthy enough to have their opinion considered? Do they just have to go with the flow and wait till they eventually have enough support for their disposition?

Source: Gun Carrying Librarian

Too often we’re so concerned about our own rights and interests that we couldn’t care less about those of less popular ideological views or beliefs. Surely if you and I had what we believed to be a valid disposition but were on the ‘bad end of democracy’ (i.e. the minority), we’d still like to be heard and have our views included?

While these thoughts here may be considered  political, I think it’s more than that. It’s an issue of social justice. The bible talks about human beings created in God’s image and that they are loved and valued by Him. If this is the case then surely we should view others in the same light? When it comes to these kinds of discussions there way too much political gobbledygook going on when perhaps it’s simply a matter of loving your neighbour as yourself.

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