Director: Omelga Mthiyane Riaan Hendricks, Marianne Gysae and Riaan Hendricks
Country: South Africa
Year: 2008
Running Time: 24 min.
Language: English, Xhosa, and Oromo


After the violent xenophobic attacks in South Africa, the community of Masiphumelele publicly apologized to nearby Soetwater Refugee Camp, inviting their displaced foreign nationals back home. Baraka follows their return to the overcrowded community of Masiphumelele.

About the Director

Marianne Gysae, Riaan Hendricks and Omelga Mthiyane

marianneBiography: Marianne Gysae was born in 1955 in Hamm, Westphalia in Germany. She holds a master’s degree in Media Education from the PH in Freiburg (University of Education) and trained in conflict resolution in Birmingham, England. She has been involved in media for development projects in Southern Africa for more than 20 years, writing, producing und using print media and film. In addition, Gysae was the media outreach advisor for the Steps for the Future HIV and AIDS documentary project (Forum 2002). She co-directed the film Baraka in 2008.

rianneBiography: Riaan Hendricks was born in Cape Town in November 1975. He studied philosophy and psychology at the University of Western Cape. He is a self-taught filmmaker, and has taken a short course in film production. He has worked as an editor, has produced a number of documentaries and has directed several films. His first film A Fisherman’s Tale was financed by NFVF South Africa. Two years later it was described as a “sterling directorial debut”, and won a Jury Special Mention for Documentary at the Apollo International Film Festival. A Fisherman’s Tale (2004) “reminds me of the art of Picasso and Diego Riviera, who had used their art to animate the condition of the working people and their dignity” – Professor Ben Turok, Independent Newspaper. The director’s documentary film The Last Voyage won the Silver Dhow for Documentary film at the 2011 Zanzibar International Film Festival.

omelgaBiography: Omelga Mthiyane was born on May 19, 1977, in Inanda, just outside Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. She studied video technology at the Durban University of Technology, and graduated in 2000. In 2001 she was selected for the Encounters Documentary Laboratory where she was trained in making documentaries. Omelga was also a member of the Filmmakers against Racism initiative.


Films Shown in AFF, Inc. Programs:
Baraka (2009).

Body Beautiful (2003 – Omelga Mthiyane);
Ikhaya [Home] (2004 – Omelga Mthiyane);
A Fisherman’s Tale (2004 – Riaan Hendricks);
PMS (2006 – Riaan Hendricks);
The City that Kills Somalians (2007 – Riaan Hendricks);
Through the Eye of the Needle (2007 – Riaan Hendricks);
The Wait (2008 – Riaan Hendricks);
Revolutionaries Love Life (2008 – Riaan Hendricks);
Baraka (2008);
Inanda, My Heritage (2008 – Omelga Mthiyane);
Island of Healing (2009 – Riaan Hendricks);
The Last Voyage (2009 – Riaan Hendricks);
Thank You Mama [Siyabonga Mama] (2010 – Omelga Mthiyane);
Li-Xia’s Salon (2011 – Omelga Mthiyane);
The Devil’s Lair (2012 – Riaan Hendricks);
Cocaine, Suicide and the Meaning of Life (2012 – Riaan Hendricks).