The fight against major violations of human rights is a fight that Ditshwanelo has been fighting for a long time and it was no different at their 12th annual Ditshwanelo film festival held at Maru A Pula Secondary School Audio Visual Center.
The night brought out a lot of emotion but it seems one topic is more contested by religious figures, politicians and everyday citizens: the issue of homosexuality.
With the United Nations declaring May 17 Day Against Homophobia there is conscious effort around the world to curb discrimination against homosexuals. However, the issue of same sex marriages has been a hotly debated topic here in Botswana. The argument has drawn various viewpoints even with top political figures having their say in the past about the issue.
A couple that chose to remain anonymous due to fear said that they felt Batswana were still homophobic and feared that it may take some time for them to be accepted.
Some members of the public said they felt homosexuality did not affect them directly and were willing to allow for the authorities to deal with the situation because they felt it was there for all to see.
“It has reached a point where it’s in the open now, people have began to accept it, whereas before it was taboo,” said Shanganani Ndzinge.
He alluded to Rap Moghuls Jay Z’s recent comments that we shouldn’t be concerned with what people do in their on own household.
“In this generation people see a world being gay is acceptable, even on television it’s become common,” he added.
In a documentary that was showcased, called ‘Home Front’, Palestinians in Israel are having homes taken away by Jews who believe they are entitled to reclaiming land taken away from them in 1948. This band of renegade Jews has been given the name ‘Occupants’.
The documentary shows that law enforcers side with the ‘Occupants’ and nothing is done to help the Palestinians who have paid or even built the houses. In one scene, a family of up to ten are seen being forced to live in cramped areas with not enough space to support all of them due to the fact that their house was taken away by “Occupants”. The youngest in the family is a ten year old boy who vows to work hard and avenge those who have taken away their homes by aiming to become a lawyer to reverse what he deems to be injustices against his family and people.
The attendance at the film festival could have been greater.