Bo-Kaap film-maker honoured

Naahid Nakidien, sister of Zulfah Otto Sallies, went down memory lane where they grew up in Bo-Kaap.

Last week, the Bo-Kaap community honoured one of its greatest daughters, artist Zulfah Otto Sallies, who passed away earlier this year.

A special screening of her movie Through The Eyes of My Daughter took place on Wednesday August 31 at the Boorhaanol Centre.

The author and film-maker, who passed away at the age of 55 in July, was passionate about telling the stories of the Bo-Kaap, where she grew up (“Bo-Kaap film-maker dies”, Atlantic Sun, July 14).

Director of the critically acclaimed Action Komandant, Nadine Cloete, told the Atlantic Sun at the time about the importance of Ms Otto Sallies’ influence on younger artists.

Ms Cloete also spoke at the memorial event in the Bo-Kaap last week.

Now, it appears Ms Otto Sallies’ legacy is already living on through a bursary fund at Prestwich Primary School, which was started shortly after her death.

Ms Otto Sallies was an English and Afrikaans teacher at the school for five years but had also encouraged pupils to take up drama and art.

The school’s principal, Mahdie Samodien, said Ms Otto Sallies had been a great asset to the school and therefore they decided to honour her memory.

Mr Samodien said many of the pupils at the school struggled to pay for school fees and transport.

The bursary fund had already contributed to two pupils’ school fees for the year. Once the fund is established, Mr Samodien hopes it will allow pupils to study arts and drama.

“We have many talented kids at our school but we don’t have the funds to employ an arts teacher. Arts is important and it is something that Zulfah was passionate about.”

Osman Shaboodien, chairperson of the Bo-Kaap Civic and Ratepayers’ Association, said more needed to be done to recognise local artists while they were still around.

He said Ms Otto Sallies had been an important influence in the area and that her work should inspire the next generation of artists. “Her works about Bo-Kaap are classics that stand the test of time. It is about the telling of our history.”