Red Bull Amaphiko: GWALAGWALA, a film by Imraan Christian, tells the story of The 18 Gangster Museum for Red Bull's Amaphiko initiative. The MMMob created the storytelling platform, and offered support which could be tapped into, throughout the process.
Amaphiko is a global Red Bull programme, born in South Africa. It exists to support Social Entrepreneurs who use creativity and entrepreneurial spirit, to make a mark in their communities. Its agenda is to inspire other youngsters to follow suit.
Way back in 2014, MMM was invited to get involved as an industry expert, offering our mentorship to the first Amaphiko Academy held in Soweto. We hosted skillshare sessions, and also covered the inaugural 10-day gathering. Ever since then, the MMMob has been involved in this ongoing initiative.
Amaphiko called on us in 2016, to get involved in a special project which would up the awareness of the programme. They wanted to create a series of short-format documentaries, on par with their quality Red Bull sporting & lifestyle content, telling the success stories of their Academy’s Alumni.
Wandisile Nqeketho and his “18 Gangster Museum” project, would be the subject of the first story. Wandisile’s creation is a living museum. Within the floorspace of a shipping container, repurposed as a pretend prison cell, he creates a platform for ex-gangsters to share their real-life experiences. The objective is to help SA youth understand the dreadful life they’re in for, if they opt-in to gangsterism.
The MMMob Approach
MMMobBoss and Executive Creative Director, Thoban came up with the idea to pair each Amaphiko Alumnus, with an up-and-coming creative allrounder. Candidates needed to be able to direct, shoot and film. And to meet the objective of driving awareness, they would need some clout on their own social channels too. The young talent would be given full creative control – from concept and production, to execution. The only brief, was to tell the Social Entrepreneur’s story in their own cinematographic style. This fosters a symbiotic relationship, which would allow both parties to shine.
Imraan Christian was the perfect person to tell Wandisile’s story. He was also born on the Cape Flats, just like his Amaphiko partner and the museum project. For his influence and talent, Imraan was allocated the largest chunk of the client’s budget.
The MMMob was there every step of the way, helping manage the process and facilitating the connection between the subject, the storyteller, and the client. We also offered Imraan our Production and Post-Production services.
Imraan opted to shoot a conceptual, semi-fictional film, rooted in real-life environments. It portrayed an on-camera protagonist, grappling with gangsterism which touched his personal life, and his greater community. The film features the “18 Gangster Museum” at a pivotal point in the narrative, as the character navigates a Dark Path, followed by a Light Path to salvation. The creation was aptly titled, “GWALA” – which is Cape Flats vernacular for “Choose”.
MMM’s Creative Director, Dylan Culhane joined Imraan, along with a small, handpicked crew of local creatives. Over two days, in various community locations, the film was shot in a run-and-gun style. This resulted in raw, guerilla-style footage, featuring actual gangsters. MMMob Video Editor, Matt James, collaborated with Imraan, to turn the footage into a cohesive storyline. To finish it off, Imraan added an original soundtrack and score to his film, enlisting a local musician, Jakinda.
Imraan first released a 45-second trailer, to his own social platforms, to create hype, and drive traffic to the Amaphiko channels, who shared it too. To back it up, MMM and RedBullZA expertly orchestrated the visual content. A few days later, both Imraan and Amaphiko shared the full-length film, generating a marked spike in engagement for both Brand and Director. Finally, the project came to a close with the publishing of Imraan’s photographic imagery, supported across the Amaphiko platforms.
- Red Bull Amaphiko
- Executive Production & Client Liaison: Mobile Media Mob
- Creative Director, Film Director, Producer, & DOP: Imraan Christian
- Original Music Score: Jakinda
- Video Editor: Matthew Scott James
- Photography: Imraan Christian
- Shuaib Philander
- Papa Grimm
- Toufeeq Raubenheimer
- Waseem Noordien
- Thabit Noordien
- Mikey G