The ‘Spear’ that won’t go away

A kid asks a question and you provide an answer. But each answer is met with yet another ‘why’. No matter how much information you dish out, the ‘whys’ keep coming. Bullets of insistence with no end in sight. Sometimes as journalists we need to go back to being kids and just stay with the questions, no matter what.

The Journalist looks at why this Spear won’t die but just keeps asking ‘why’…


In 2015 VIA created a TV series called CO.ZA. Media24’s Via TV channel launched it in May 2016 and it has been a huge success. Season 2 has been on air on DSTV, the SA pay TV service, from November 2016. It is a VIA original concept that is now being developed as an international show.

A keystone of the concept is that the stories are created by viewers, under guidance from the producers. Video clips submitted by viewers, produced mostly with smart phones, answer some basic questions. For example:

  • What is home? How or why do we leave and what defines the sense of loss we experience when we do?
  • What are the essential national characteristics that we take with us into the world?
  • Each episode has a Video Postcard, an update from a previous participant


The Keeper of the Kumm

A city journalist reluctantly follows The Call of a Bushman Rainmaker … their story started 200 years ago. The Keeper of the Kumm is a historic and modern quest, interwoven in a story that crosses the flimsy boundaries between worlds.

In 1870 //Kabbo, a pipe smoking revolutionary Bushman hunter driven by his need to safeguard his fragile culture, goes on a Quest to find city people whom he has heard can preserve stories in books.  Along the way he finds Victorian researcher, Lucy Lloyd and German linguist Wilhelm Bleek. But even further down the line he engages a reluctant modern-day writer Sylvia Vollenhoven. 

Sylvia, a cynical city journalist in search of healing, undertakes a Quest of her own. Using 21st Century experts as well as ancient African ritual she follows The Call of  //Kabbo. Like a Bushman hunter she sets out on the trail and pins down the elusive meeting point between science and mysticism. In the unfolding drama of the new South Africa she finds a hidden story of the First Nations that touches on our common ancestry. 

The Keeper of the Kumm is a Multimedia Initiative that comprises the following:

  • The Novel written by Vollenhoven that will be launched by Tafelberg to coincide with the bicentenary of //Kabbo’s birth. Tafelberg is one of South Africa’s largest publishing houses
  • A Musical Theatre Adaptation – a joint initiative between VIA, Suite Basil Productions, the Baxter Theatre and the National Arts Festival
  • A Feature Length Documentary Film. The film in development is supported by the National Film & Video Foundation (NFVF) and agency of the South African Government Department of Arts & Culture
  • Multimedia Extensions e.g website, exhibition, educational material and a traveling show

Trailer Duration: 2 min 32 sec

VIA – Vision In Africa

VIA – Vision In Africa was established in 2006 and has rapidly grown to be a formidable force in the media industry with pan African activities and international training networks. In a rapidly expanding market quality programming is a valuable commodity. VIA was launched to develop media products with a strong African flavour for audiences everywhere. We’re also building innovative media partnerships across Africa and between Africa and the world. We focus on the following main business areas:

  • Transmedia projects that include creative writing, film and theatre performance
  • Documentary and Feature film
  • Development of media networks in Africa and Europe. VIA brokered a unique relationship between the UK and Africa with a pilot project for upgrading business journalists’ skills in Nairobi
  • Multimedia Content Development & Training
  • Consultancies to international organisations… These have included the UK’s Thomson Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Henry J Kaiser Family Foundation and the SABC
  • Television Events – VIA produced INPUT 2008, the screening conference of the International Public Television organisation held in Johannesburg at the Sandton Convention Centre. The event attracted about 1,300 TV professionals from around the world
  • Peer Reviews of proposals and papers for  the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as well as the Journal of African Cinemas