Birth of a Nation, Children of Azania

"Birth of a Nation, Children of Azania" is a 75 minutes’ documentary film about the born free generation of South Africa and their struggle with education, in the most unequal country in the world. Sparked by the uprising of the "fees must fall" protests, we witness how a generation responds to the difficulty brought by their circumstances - through painful but ultimately positive discussions about the system and power dynamics of the country.

Africans have always been deprived and discriminated against in South Africa with systems like Apartheid, which was abolished in 1994 - When South Africa had its first democratic elections. Politically things might have changed, but the structural inequalities and economic power remained the same. Resulting in a lack of substantial change. 26 years later, the problems faced by the "born free" generation are rooted in the past. The colonized education and lack of economic power make it that much difficult to overcome the current realities that were brought by the atrocities of the past.

The film’s narrative unfolds through a series of storylines: the second uprising of the "fees must fall” movement, the reaction of the university, the government and the media. Police brutality and intimidation - also the strength and persistence of the students. We hear them share their personal stories, speaking openly about their experiences.

We conclude with students reflecting on the authenticity of the rainbow nation. And Although they do not get their way with the struggle, there is an optimistic approach to the future with an open mind of never giving up.

  • Madu Dube
  • Madu Dube
  • Madu Dube
  • Frank Tsweleng
    Key Cast
  • Tshepiso Segwe
    Key Cast
  • Sinenhlanhla Ngcobo
    Key Cast
  • Sbusiso Bhengu
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 14 minutes 45 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 6, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    400 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    South Africa
  • Country of Filming:
    South Africa
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Afrika film festival
    April 5, 2019
    World/Europe premiere
    Official selection/Unesco award nomination
  • Silicon valley African film festival
    San Jose, California
    United States
    October 5, 2019
    North America premiere
    Official selection
  • Her Africa film festival
    South Africa
    May 28, 2019
    South African Premiere
  • Sotambe Documentary Film & Arts Festival
    Zambia premiere
    Official selection
  • Afrikansonfilm
    United Kingdom
    September 14, 2019
    United Kingdom premiere
    Official selection
  • Out of Africa international film festival
    Kenya premiere
    Official selection
  • uMgungundlovu Film Festival
    Pitermaritzburg, Kwazulu - Natal
    South Africa
    November 29, 2019
    KZN Premiere
    Official selection
  • African women arts & film festival
    Dar es Salaam
    Tanzania, United Republic of
    Tanzania Premiere
    Official Selection
  • iRepresent Documentary film festival
    Nigerian Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Mashariki film festival
    Rwanda Premiere
    Official selection
Distribution Information
  • Rushlake Media GmbH
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: Internet, Video on Demand, Video / Disc
Director Biography - Madu Dube

Madu Dube is a 23 year old filmmaker from the East rand, Johannesburg. "Birth of a nation" is her first feature documentary. In 2019 it was selected for the prize of the flemish commission competition of UNESCO at Africa film festival (in Belguim).

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Director Statement

I am currently working on my second project. A docu-series titled "Conversations with millennials". This is a follow up to my first feature documentary.