Unsung Heroes | Community Youth Heroes | Buhle Nicholas Sithela

Buhle Nicholas Sithela

Community Youth Heroes

Nominee's Province:
Western Cape


Project Name/Description:
Vuma Popup Cinema

More info:

Buhle Sithela, 25, literally takes movies to the people with his pop-up cinema. Since 2017, Sithela has been running Vuma Popup Cinema, a start-up that screens films free of charge for children and youth in Khayelitsha, as well as neighbouring townships in Cape Town. Films are screened in rented community centres. Children are treated to short animated films with an educational bent. Sometimes, at the end of the screening, the children would hold a discussion about what they have just viewed like they would in class. More mature audiences are shown old South African classics such as Long Walk To Freedom, Sarafina or Yesterday. The pop-up cinema is also a vehicle for showcasing short films by emerging filmmakers. Sithela, a college dropout who studied events management, started Vuma Popup Cinema after working in drive-in cinemas and event management companies in Cape Town, and he wanted to share his passion for film with his community. To run his operation, he’s helped by three colleagues. “Film can inspire and educate people. Our screenings provide a safe space for children during weekends and public holidays. Parents and residents appreciate our work. We add value to our community.” Sithela strongly believes in doing social good. “We can all play part in creating a better future and safe communities. It’s not only government’s responsibility. We can solve social issues through innovative ideas and if we work as a collective.”