Date: Thursday, 16th August 2018
Venue: Eden Grove Seminar Room 2
The series is run by the Neil Aggett Labour Studies Unit (NALSU) and the Departments of Sociology, History, and Economics & Economic History.
“Strike A Rock” is the story of two South African mothers and best-friends, Primrose Sonti and Thumeka Magwangqana. They live in Nkaneng, Marikana, an informal settlement in rural South Africa that sprung up around a mine operated by Lonmin Plc, the third largest platinum-extractor in the world. This company has significant legal obligations to the community that they mine under and around, but does not comply with all their responsibilities. This community became internationally known after the 2012 Marikana Massacre, when 37 striking mineworkers were killed by police. However, instead of improving, the living conditions that motivated the strike in the first place continue to worsen. And this is what Primrose and Thumeka are fighting against.
These two inspiring women formed a women’s organisation, Sikhala Sonke (We Cry Together), after their friend Paulina was killed by police. Over time we see them grow into two different leaders in the search for social and economic justice. Primrose’s ambition lands her a seat in Parliament with a new, radical opposition party. But to take up the post she must leave Marikana. Thumeka, left behind, faces her fears as she picks up the reigns of the resistance as a community leader, and challenges Lonmin in a landmark Complaint against them. In a deeply personal journey, can these two women take on the Goliath composed of high powered enemies that appear to collude against the people of Marikana, and at the same time maintain a friendship that is threatening to break under the weight of this pressure?