It didn't take the amazing Frank Papushka, founder of Nyumbani Content, very long to produce his first draft of the video we shot, he had nailed it and we were blown away by how it moved us to watch it, even though we were there to live it. Seeing Frank work was the first time I began to understand what it meant to be a real storyteller, and man is he that for sure! An effortless passion and synergized vision is how I best describe Frank, I mean he really does make it look so easy when he does his thing.
It is hard to grasp when you see the contents of his work, the struggle that goes on behind the scenes: the tears, sweat, blood and heart that has to go in to create such captivating shots or stir such intense emotion in an interview. We got to experience all of this first hand working with Frank and the Africa Inside Out team. They brought another level of energy to our work, they also somehow made it seem like only fun. I mean, there wasn't a day the very talented Pim Ibreck and I weren't cracking wise ones, joking and laughing together. Which is how it should be right? These guys had it right and I believe Naweed and I learned that from them, even Devon who was in SA at the time, felt the shift in our own team mind-set.
We had gone back and forth for only a few days with minor changes to logo placements and adding hashtags to the video, Frank had really nailed the post production and we backed his entire first edit. Emotions were high at the time, we felt pressure to release the video so it would coincide with all the wonderful media attention we were getting. We really wanted to produce something final and great for LifeSaver, who had done so much to make it all happen. There was genuine concern that our message may be misinterpreted by one or more potential stakeholders, that it wouldn't stand up to the amazing hype of actually doing the work and then filming the process!
In years to come I would meet other storytellers, one brother Jigar Ganatra from Jiggyboy Films and founder of the very exciting AFRISOS program we wanna be part of soon. He taught me that this was what they went through every time they released a short story or documentary, of their own or for their clients. They dealt with this on the regular and I wondered how they managed all this emotion. The entire process of filming and hearing so many stories, often of hardships and suffering. Then capturing it all, and putting your heart and soul into making something amazing that will resonate with others, trying to shine a light on these major and pressing issues. All that pressure. The doubts of not being good enough and accompanying fears of criticism, faced by storytellers every day, we felt it all before we released the #EndtheWalkforWater video and looking back it was all worth it.
We released the video and were immediately swarmed with positive and encouraging responses. Old friends and relatives abroad called in to congratulate us, all that worry was washed away and replaced with this intense drive to go out and do this 1000 more times! We were invigorated by the good vibes and kind words coming our way, this was topped with endless gratitude from the school teachers, parents and students. Now it was time to get out there and find more people to join us in expanding on what we had done. We had a vision and a mission: now we have a set of goals and a path to bring it all to life. We couldn't wait to do it all over again!
Author - James Bruce Taylor - Head of Aid & Marketing Director for AAS
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