The Gooseberry Grandmother’s Daughter

The Gooseberry Grandmother's Daughter exposes power imbalances and divisions caused by a coal mine owners’ forceful entry into the peaceful rural community of Ophendweni. Through resilience and unity, the community fights back against exploitation, seeking justice for their fallen leader.

Screenings – JHB
BioSun 25 June 2pm+ Q&A


Julie Laurenz


South Africa



Running Time:

24 min



The Gooseberry Grandmother’s Daughter is a powerful narrative that sheds light on the impact of mining on local communities. The story focuses on the struggle faced by the once-peaceful rural community of Ophendweni in Zululand, as they confront mine owners who forcefully entered their community to establish a coal mine. Through the perspectives of community members, human rights lawyers and family members of Mam Fikile Ntshangase—an influential community leader and vocal activist against the mine’s plans—the story unravels the events that led to her untimely tragic death. Moreover, it explores how this loss galvanised the community to unite and take legal action against the mine owners. The Gooseberry Grandmother’s Daughter reveals the enduring strength, unity and resilience of the community, highlighting their unwavering determination to combat the exploitative practices associated with mining.

The Whose Land is it Anyways? Shorts Block includes Our Land, The Gooseberry Grandmother and What the Soil Remembers

Courtesy of The Department of Sports, Arts and Culture (DSAC)