One Carefree Night
Project info

If you grow up in the notorious neighbourhood Manenberg in South Africa in Cape Town you are exposed to shootings, neighbors and parents addicted to alcohol and drugs, and relatives who belong to gangs. Here, it takes only the slightest argument about who’s allowed to sell drugs where —or about a girl—and bullets start tearing through the streets. The only way out is finishing your high school to have a shot at a better future. In Manenberg, only 22.2 percent of the population over twenty has completed high school. I follow Lolla, daughter of a murdered gangbanger and a teenage mom, and Riyaad, whose father is in jail and who used to be with a gang. Their live story isn't an exception in this area but their determination is: they are doing their final exams at Phoenix Highschool in Manenberg. The cherry on the cake of the exams is the matric dance, an evening of dinner and dancing to celebrate the completion of their high-school careers. Families who can barely pay for food or utilities save up for ball gowns, tuxedos, and rented limousines. For many of them, it’s the first time a family member has ever finished high school and the first time they see a sparkle of hope to escape their bleak reality.