IMPORTANT NOTICE: For up to date information about the COVID-19 pandemic visit

Street Dogs, a documentary

 Street Dogs, a documentary

Street Dogs, a documentary focused on the role of waste reclaimers in our society brought to life by Samora Machel (Cape Town) born and bred Aphiwe Koti

What we really appreciate about documentaries is the impact the narratives and experiences shared have on our worldview. The purpose of a documentary is rooted in the important questions asked. The point of these is to provide us with an undistorted view of reality or society. It is unfiltered. The documentation of these narratives is driven by the voices it gives the power to speak. Usually, these are the voices those who control narratives (within mass media) try to suppress.

In addition to this, documentaries focus on significant issues, societal issues that if ignored have the potential to be detrimental to us either mentally or physically. During our current season, a documentary titled Street Dogs was released. The documentary focuses on the crucial yet ignored role that waste reclaimers play in our society. In our eyes, it asks the significant question: ‘why are we not recognizing the efforts of people who are in the act of saving our planet and inevitably, us?’. This is a look at the documentary produced by South African filmmaker Aphiwe Koti.

Recognising a crucial role in Koti’s documentary

The title of Aphiwe Koti’s film casts a light that views waste reclaimers as people who are saving our environment. It supports the main aim of the film and in doing so, allows us (society) to look closer and truly recognize the role that waste reclaimers play.

Additionally, the narrative of the film is driven by Aphiwe Koti, who is a waste reclaimer himself. Hearing about an experience from the person experiencing it, rids it of false narratives and depictions. Furthermore, it is inherently an act of recognizing the role of waste reclaimers. In other words, Koti’s role is already recognition of the role waste reclaimers play in society.

The film also brings many things to light. We learn from the film that life as a waste reclaimer is challenging. With little to no help and constant discrimination the efforts of waste reclaimers  to keep the streets clean while earning a living has become more difficult. This is true for Koti too.


Watch the film trailer here:

Tshedza Mashamba