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Rama Mabotja

Covid-19 documentary to bring change


Self-taught film maker, Rama Mabotja, who has been in the industry since 2013 has documented the perception of Covid-19 in Polokwane.
Rama says he attended a film making workshop, that changed his life and sparked his interest in film making. Rama has never studied film making and says he runs purely on passion.
Curiosity to find out what his peers thought of the pandemic led to the creation of the documentary. He says he targeted the youth from all over the city in an attempt to find out what they thought of the virus. He says the initial reaction to his documentary was disbelief. “Most of the people I approached couldn’t understand why I wanted to do this. It took some convincing before they could answer some of the questions I asked.”
He says he has been hearing many opinions on Covid-19 from politicians, those in power and no one has tried to find out what the ordinary person thinks. “Initially I also did not take the pandemic seriously, but as the numbers started to rise, I became curious about it and also curious about what others around me think.”
Rama randomly chose seven people that participated in the documentary, where he asked them what they thought of Covid-19, and how long it would be before everything was over. He says the conclusion he got to after engaging with people is that most of them did not believe that the virus exists. “People think that the virus is not real. Most of them have never seen or heard of someone they know who has contracted the virus which is the cause for denial.”
He noted that most people only comply with the safety regulations in public spaces out of fear for law enforcement agencies.
“When these people are at home or in private, they do not sanitise, social distance or wear masks because they do not believe the virus is real.”
Rama says he hopes the documentary will change the perspective of people, to realise how serious the pandemic is.

Story: Umpha Manenzhe