A Truly South African story of deep and lasting friendship, cutting across time, space and difference – and produced entirely in the Eastern Cape – is moving hearts across the country, and inspiring hundreds of people to share their hope for this country.
The short brand film, released by Port Elizabeth NPO Mohair South Africa and titled “Weaving stories for a lifetime”, tells the story of two small boys who grow up together on a Karoo farm in the 1980s. They go their separate ways – one taking over his father’s farm and the other blazing a trail in a completely different direction – but ultimately find one another again.
The story – a weaving together of several true stories – was created by Port Elizabeth-based video production company Rooftop, and shot on location in the Karoo and Nelson Mandela Bay, including some shots at Woodridge Preparatory School.
Released on Mohair SA’s Facebook page on September 8, the video has already notched up 480 000 views (and counting), 4 200 likes, over 3000 shares and more than 400 comments, coming from people from all walks of life, and from all over the country and abroad.
“This is just so awesome – tears running down my cheeks … a truly African Story with compassion, dedication, passion … I love it,” wrote Verena Hinsch.
“I am 83 years old and even today I long to see my childhood friend … I last saw him when were 10 years old. I always wonder what happened to him. He was my everything. I would love to see Petros again,” wrote Johann Michiel Briel.
“Having that love for each other and working together will bring South Africa forward,” wrote Thandokazi Mrwebi.
Lindsay Humphreys and Anle Marais, Mohair SA’s marketing team, said they wanted the brand film “to be authentic” so based it on “a collection of life stories collected over time”.
“It shows the power of universal appeal, themes of friendship, nostalgia and success … Our hope was that this brand film would both educate and inspire, with the story of mohair being told from the farm to the fashion ramps of the world,” said Humphreys.
“Port Elizabeth is the world’s mohair capital, so it was our intention from the start to make this an Eastern Cape production, highlighting local talent and showcasing our beautiful region,” said Marais.
“The challenge was working with boisterous boys and rompish angora goats on one set! But the highlight was seeing how naturally a real friendship developed between the two boys (played by Derek Ayankoya and Elijah Jackson).”
“Mohair SA’s video captures something beautiful – and proves that good news stories do work. They make an impact and people respond,” said Rooftop managing director Richard Ahlfeldt.
“A four-minute long video is unusual for a brand video – companies usually go for the hard sell – but Mohair SA was willing to do something different and it has led to something unique and powerful, and shown that there is a great demand for this type of story-telling.
“Here at Rooftop, we strive to tell stories that matter, stories that reach people and make a difference … Bringing these stories to life is why we exist.”
The soundtrack to the video, called “Growing up”, was written and recorded for Mohair SA by Charlie Finch. It was released in South Africa on September 15.
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