Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Learning As You Film.

Every once in a while you get to film a story about which you previously knew nothing about. Today was a good example of this when asked by the BBC to film a story about a woman from Easebourne, near Midhurst, West Sussex.

Her name was Helen Joseph, born 8 April 1905, and who died on 25 December 1992. Having  taken jobs in various parts of the world she eventually became a vociferous opponent to the Apartheid government in South Africa, where, in August 1956 she spearheaded a march of 20000 women to protest at the countries Pass Laws. This day is still celebrated today in South Africa as Women's day.

Throughout her days in South Africa, she was arrested, placed under house arrest for many years and survived at least two attempts on her life during that period. Also becoming a trusted friend of Nelson and Winnie Mandela, Helen took care of their children during troubling times for the family.

A picture of me and the present owner of Helen's home in Easebourne, West Sussex.

And yet, i never knew of this woman, her exploits, courage and fortitude during extreme times in South Africa. Probably because before now, i had not looked, nor had anyone told me. So it was with pleasure today that i had the honour to film a story about Helen, visit her old house and other places of interest in Easebourne that she once knew, and learn about her life that she gave up in England to become a hero of South African history.

Anyone with an interest can buy the book here :
Side by Side: The Autobiography of Helen Joseph

Also, her obituary in the independent can be found here : Link