On Saturday, August 31, 2013, Nokutela Mdima Dube was welcomed into the pantheon of the first South African liberation heroes, when a gravestone was officially unveiled for her, after she had suffered for almost a century the indignity of total oblivion in an unmarked grave in Johannesburg.
All too often, unfortunately, the history of women is reduced to a footnote in the epic of brave men. In Africa, even that footnote disappears when a woman has not been able to bear a child. Remembering Nokutela [uKukhumbula uNokutela] is the 4-year long journey of an African-born US director, Professor Cherif Keita, to rescue Nokutela Dube(1873-1917), a forgotten woman pioneer of the liberation movement in South Africa from the Purgatory of history, almost a century after her death at the age of 44. English and Zulu, 57 minutes, directed by Chérif Keita and edited by Dominic Fucci, 2013.
Purchase film here....
It's an incredibly moving work, with the narrative drive of a detective or mystery film. I loved the clarity of purpose and pacing Keita brings to the film. That's genius filmmaking. I loved it.
Carol Donelan, Cinema and Media Studies Professor, Carleton College
"I attended the unveiling of the tombstone for Nokutela Dube on a freezing winter's morning about 18 months ago at the invitation of Professor Keita, a cousin of Salif Keita, the renowned Malian musician. I met Cherif when I organized a component of the very first visit he made to South Africa with a group of international studies students from Minnesota. He explained that that visit started a journey of connecting with unfinished business of ancestors in South Africa.
It is an amazing story about how he took on the responsibility of restoring to South Africa, some of its own remarkable history and its links with Northfield, Minnesota. It has truly been a labour of love on his part. "
- Dr Marjorie Jobson,
a medical doctor,
Khulumani Support Group
"This wonderful story should inspire us to excavate the unmarked graves of our many forgotten mothers scattered across our continent."
Dr. Frank Chipasula, Poet and Professor, Univ. of Southern Illinois, Carbondale