Mongamo Tyhala, 18 years old

The day I was selected as one of the main subjects I was keen, but as time went on it wasn’t so fun, for the first month at least. I didn’t like being in front of the camera and talking about my private life. I had to change from being a soft talker to being a loud speaker. I felt like they wanted to change me and I loved being me, but these were challenges I overcame.

After the first month it was fun. Sometimes I felt like a celeb. We would get an audience when we were filming which was cool. Making the documentary had an impact on my passing Grade 12. Before they came, in the beginning of the year I was unhappy, but in making the documentary that sadness disappeared.

All in all this was an adventure for me.


Noluyanda Roxwana, 18 years old

Being in the film “Life in Grade 12” has been very exciting for me. At first it was scary and I was nervous. I got used to it though. It is a great opportunity for us to get noticed as black students who are studying in bad conditions. It is for all other African countries that are also battling in terms of quality education.

Being in the film has also helped me to deal with my personal life in a very positive way. It helped me to express myself. What I liked about the film was that everything was real, we were not acting, everything was about us and what we are doing. It made me be more open about my life.

What I liked most is it represented all the students who don’t have much in their schools but strive to get the best in life. It showed me that it’s not about the best you can get, but about what you can make for yourself with whatever you have, be it small or big.

Sipho Mpaku, 21 years old

God gave me someone to talk with and share my problems and that person is Molly Blank and her camera. I didn’t know her at the first time she arrived at my school, at Oscar Mpetha High School in Nyanga. She came here to do a film and she started to interview people in my class and I was one of those people. She told us who the film was about and it was about ourselves and our lives in Grade 12.

The film to me was the biggest thing that happened to me in my life. In the film I learned many things like self-confidence and self-discipline and she offered me a job to help her when she was filming some other people.The film took me in another place that I never dreamed to go, in the Eastern Cape to film another girl. We drove 15 hours in a car. That was another experience I never had.

The film was another thing that makes me to be open about what is going on about my life and it makes me to be proud about myself.

Babalwa Yabo, age 18

In 2005 I was doing my last grade in high school. Then my English teacher was going to Germany. I asked myself who is going to teach us English, because she was the best teacher. Then Molly Blank came. I wasn’t sure whether I am going to catch up with this first language English teacher? Then suddenly everything changed.

In our class we used to listen and then doze into a sleep. But when our new teacher was in the class, I felt so proud of my classmates because they’ve become positive and starting to dream again. Everyone seemed happy and they started to come to school daily and early. We started to cooperate and doing our work easily.

One day my teacher called me and a few of my classmates and she informed us about the movie. We signed some documents and then we were followed by a camera every now and then. Firstly it seemed difficult and uncomfortable because we have to comment about everything that happens in our daily lives. But every time Molly tried so hard to make us feel free.

It was very easy for me to express myself in front of the camera. Another thing, people started to become friendly, greeting, talking as if I was somebody else. I felt like there would be a big change in my life after the movie. I’m saying this because people will know how I feel and what I want to do for my country and its people. It became very easy to reveal my life in front of South Africans.