The South Africa ‘Up ‘ series follows the personal journeys of a diverse range of young South Africans who were born into the apartheid era, filming them every seven years as they grew up through the country’s dramatic political changes.
In 14Up South Africa , we revisit the 20 young people who we first filmed in 1992 when they were seven years old.
Now it is 1999, Mandela is at the end of his term as president, and the new non-racial South Africa is finding its feet. It has been just five years since the first non-racial elections and in that time the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) has branded apartheid a crime against humanity.
Well, I've got two words. Love sucks. Love sucks. Love is not for me. No
In the first part of 14Up South Africa , the young teens look back at their seven-year-old selves, and confront some of their earlier ideas. While at seven they echoed the views of their families and the world around them – including some blatant racism – by 14 they are forming their own views and maturing in their understanding. They talk honestly about their views on relationships, their ideas about sex, as well as the importance of money, or lack thereof, in their lives.
They detail their very varied daily lives, their interests and their heroes. A recurring theme is the violence that surrounds them in different ways as well as their identity in the new South Africa.
Some of them they have lost parents in the intervening years and have had to deal with great personal grief. And yet, like all 14-year-olds, this is a time to dream too.
Editor’s note: This is part of a series of eight films that follows the characters at age 7, 14, 21 and 28.
This film was first broadcast on Al Jazeera English in November 2013