Blessing In Disguise
Blessing in Disguise is a story unique to young black South African girls- the film portrays the life a young black girl; Naledi, who is carrying the financial weight of her
home. Her biggest secret is that she has a blesser and this is where the money is coming from. This secret is
threatened when her Christian mother finds her hidden money and confronts her about it. Additionally,
Naledi is a student- due to the financial stress she endures as well as the demanding sexual relationship that
she has with her blesser, she fails one of the most important exams of her life. This completely rocks her
boat as she begins to realize that she cannot have her cake and eat it too; she either has the money and is able
to keep her home and her mother afloat or she is able to be the good student that she was and live her life;
but not both.
Zamanguni Kizzy KhuzwayoDirector
Zamanguni Kizzy KhuzwayoWriter
Lerato BhenguKey Cast"Naledi "
Khanyo NkosiKey Cast
Project Type:Short, Student
Completion Date:November 30, 2022
Country of Filming:South Africa
Shooting Format:Digital, 35mm
Student Project:Yes - AFDA
My name is Kizzy Khuzwayo and I am a creative. Acting has always been my first passion, but this year I found myself in the role of the director and writer of a film. As a creative, I have much to say about the world, society and life at large, and I feel that I am best able to articulate these feelings through art- be it on stage or on set yelling cut.
The bigger picture for my life is one day opening up my own production company and producing many South African stories. I believe that it is important to build the South African industry to what we want it to be, and we do this by continuously enriching ourselves with knowledge, and then pouring the knowledge into the stories we create- to be viewed by our truley unique South African audience.
I have taken my own advice as I studied a degree in Live Performance as part of my undergrad degree and I have continued my studies with an honours degree in screenwriting and directing.
As a young black woman living in South Africa, it is difficult to remove myself completely from Naledi’s
character as she is also a young black woman living in South Africa, while I have never needed to have
blesser, I am still able to relate to her in other ways. The difference between us, is that I am highly privileged
and she isn’t, I have choices and she doesn’t. A part of me wonders what choices I would make if I were
living under her living circumstances. The scarier thought is that I could have very well been Naledi. I say
this because I am aware that blesser culture in South Africa is a culture that black young women subscribe
to, more than any other race group of young women.
My intention with regards to making this film is to provide a different perspective and shed light on the
reality that some women face. A reality that has been warped and glamorized by society. I am yet to watch a
film that speaks of the consequences of having a blesser that young women face. Consequences such as
unwanted pregnancy, low-self-esteem, objectification, loss of power over self, self-identity issues as well as
demoralizing sexual acts such as being urinated on. I aim to allow for a conversation to be had centering
blesser culture, a particular discussion that excludes blame and judging. I believe that South Africa treats
blesser culture the same way it treats GBV, which is poorly- continuously asking the wrong questions and
blaming the victim. Common GBV questions are, ‘why was she wearing that, where was she, what did she
think would happen?’ And common questions or statements said about women who have blessers
are….’’does she want money that badly and surely, she doesn’t mind’’. In Blessing In Disguise it is
displayed that Naledi indeed is desperate for money, however the money is not for luxury items and rather to
provide for her family’s needs. The aim of her having money is not for what she wants, but rather what she
needs. Additionally, it is evident that Naledi is not happy to have a blesser and through this I am hoping to
show that young women who have blessers are not all happy to be engaging with men who do not respect
them, men who will urinate on them, sexually abuse them and in general clearly show them that they are
merely disposable sex objects to them. I believe that the questions society should be asking women who
have blessers should be ‘What circumstance are you facing that would make you want to have a blesser?’ or
‘How can I help you?’. I truly believe that blesser culture is a racial economic issue and that it should be
addressed as such. If not, we forfeit the birth of young women who will contribute to society as healthy
mothers, wife’s or business women, as they will be stuck in the cycle of blesser hood, and its effects.