Woman I thought I was, until infertility rendered me a man. It’s been 10 years since I learnt of my infertility, and 9 years documenting my struggle with the condition. About 70% of the footage has already been shot, and now looking for funds for the last leg of the production. Your contribution may help not only the production but who knows? Through this film, you may also help me and many other women to realise our dreams of becoming mothers and help de-stigmatise infertility.
About This Project
WOMB-MAN FEATURE LENGTH DOCUMENTARY FILM
‘You have no fallopian tubes. You can’t fall pregnant naturally’
WOMB-MAN is a feature length documentary film about the filmmaker’s struggle with infertility in a society where childless women are ostracised. While the film gives a viewer a no-hold-barred insight into IVF (test tube baby making procedure), it is ‘striking the balance between modernity and tradition’ that makes WOMB-MAN a must watch film.
“I remember vividly the words of a Johannesburg fertility clinic, ‘You have no fallopian tubes. You can’t fall pregnant naturally’. That was in 2006. This is the only life I know about. How can I not be the mother I always dreamt of?
Am I the only woman battling with childlessness around here? Why is there the deafening silence about this condition? As a storyteller, I couldn’t sit back and die inside any longer. It took me a while to wrestle with thoughts about the making of this film. At the time I titled it The Womb in Waiting because I felt it was only a matter of time before I am a mother. It was in 2007 after my 2nd Invitro-Fertilisation failed. I was scared of what people may think of me. I had a booming career, successful in my own right. I knew by opening up about my condition, I was going to face a lot of name-calling and judgments. But I asked myself, if I don’t tell the story, who do I expect to display their dirty linen in public for me to make the film?
THE STRUGGLE BEGINS
1st IVF cycle failed. 2nd IVF cycle failed. I had to open up to my family.
I knew I was going to do another cycle of IVF. At this point I was losing my mind. I started off by documenting the build up to the 3rd cycle. This involved facing my family. For the first time, we spoke openly about my inability to have children on camera. It’s a subject we never touched, not even with my mother.
WHO AM I?
My name is Molatelo Mainetje. I’m a 40-year old filmmaker and social justice activist by default. I was born and grew up in rural GaModjadji in Limpopo Province. Although I live in Johannesburg now, I still go back home from time to time; more frequently now that I established a filmmaking and television production project there, where I train young people to use film and television to tell their own stories, in their own languages.
Being the first girl in the village to go to university, and a girl of many firsts, one would expect that I command a lot of respect. No I don’t. I am not a mother. I’ve no voice among the village women. After all, I refused to go to girls’ initiation school.
I grew up loathing everything traditional, but I found myself appreciating culture and tradition more as I grow up. Until recently, and I had to learn this from fellow filmmakers at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, during sessions where we share with each other about our film projects – that my desire to become a mother has in fact become the force behind my life.
While WOMB-MAN gives voice to women who remain buried in shame because they have not or cannot give birth, it is also an educational tool for women young and old, rural or urban, local or international. More and more women now, for whatever reason, prefer to delay starting families. WOMB-MAN is an eye-opener.
We would like to film the last leg of the production. The clock has recently been ticking faster for me, and would like to explore the available options of becoming a mother. I cannot do this alone; we do it together. Together, we find out if I will be a mother and how!
We need R150 000 to film the last leg of the production; for equipment hire, crew and general production costs. 70% of the footage is in the can already. We need your support to make this a high impact film. No contribution is too small or too big for this course. Together, we can make WOMB-MAN a reality!”
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER/DIRECTOR: Molatelo Mainetje
Molatelo Mainetje is an award-winning television news and current affairs producer, video journalist and documentary filmmaker. She’s the winner of 2007 United Nations Media Peace Award, TV News category. Molatelo has produced, written, directed and edited several documentary films in South Africa and on the continent, broadcast locally and internationally. Molatelo is the founder of Bolobathaba Filmmaking Project in rural GaModjadji where she trains young people to use film to tell their own stories.
PRODUCER: Koketso Dlongolo
Koketso Dlongolo is a news writer and producer at Enews Africa (eNCA). Before joining eNCA, Dlongolo first worked as an online multimedia intern for the Mail& Guardian Newspaper before she was hired as a Content Producer and Writer. Dlongolo recently joined Bolobathaba Multimedia as a freelance producer and writer, currently working on several documentary films including LADY AFRICA, RADIO FREEDOM and BLOCK 5. Dlongolo has an Honours Degree in Journalism (University of Pretoria), where she volunteered a deputy news editor of the university based newspaper.
CO-DIRECTOR: Veronica Phewa
Veronica Phewa currently works as a Producer for South Africa’s 24-news hour channel, eNCA, with 13 years experience in television news and current affairs and business television. Veronica holds a National Diploma in TV Studies from the Durban University of Technology.
CAMERA: Peter Bruks
Peter Bruks is an amazing, hardworking, talented multi-skilled filmmaker and graphic designer. He hold a Bachelor’s degree in Film from University of Ghana and has 9 years experience in the film and television production industry.