Have you ever walked in a gangsters paradise? Well, for fifteen days, 360 hours and some sun burns later we experienced a real gangsters paradise. Our drive to the top of the Yeoville hill led to discussion on the safety of the people who spend their days praying on the hill with a brothel just a few streets down from the praying “hot-spot”. Capturing footage of the scenery my dare-devil colleagues decided to sit on the edge of the hill, to ‘gather themselves’ from the long day that was ahead. Feeling the pressure of the day that was ahead we decided to sing a song by Coolio – Gangsters Paradise while on the mountain, which made our day a little lighter and in fact brighter. Our first stop was the Green House pub in Yeoville where I met with an old friend ID, who we had filmed as part of our television course. ID took us to the manager who secured an interview with one of my colleagues, while holding a beer in one hand and talking loudly to his friends. Being back at the pub reminded me of all the days we spent learning the Nigerian national anthem and trying to figure out how to focus images to make sure that we had enough footage to deliver to our television mentor.
Our last stop was the salon where we managed to get footage of one my subjects braiding hair whilst wearing Dior earrings and a blue velvet dress with 4-inch heels, an interesting contrast to her own lived reality. Patricia was fussy and a little impatient when we were filming her when she had her customers complaining about the video we were shooting. This was not the only difficulty that day. While attempting to capture the ‘journey’ of one of my other colleagues subjects we encountered some difficulty with a few men standing around BETXCHANGE who didn’t want us recording outside the store, which raised some suspicion among my group members – but after some careful persuasion and stubborness we finally took footage and called it a day.