Gcobisa Yako


25, filmmaker

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My name is Gcobisa Yako and we were born in the small city of Gqeberha, in the Eastern Cape. We have a BA in psychology and philosophy and an honours in directing and writing.

Currently, we are based in Cape Town exploring the commercial space to garner more experience, however - documentary is our true love. Archiving being our soulmate.

Our experience in existing in both the rural and suburban areas forced us to realise the beauty the rurals hold despite its poverty-stricken reality - and thus developed our passion in exploring the beauty of areas where marginalized communities
have created spaces for themselves.

Our aim is to create a cinema representative of the versatility and ordinary lives of black and brown South Africans, archive it all so that those who come after us have some kind of blue print as opposed to the blank canvas we find ourselves trying to colour with very little sense of direction and history.

Artist Alliance Documentary

Gcobisa Yako, a creator in photography, film and videography recalls moving to Cape Town and realising “how many complexities lie in the communities we find ourselves in”. As part of the Artist Alliance initiative, Gcobisa draws on muses such as Charlotte Maxeke and Yolanda Dyantyi to symbolically tell the intergenerational stories of Black people and Black academics. Inspired by the mundane, everyday lives of her community, Gcobisa believes in creating life and living outside of the constant state of survival.

This docuseries introduces us to the five selected artists and their collaboration with the V&A Waterfront.

Artist Alliance Creation

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Gcobisa Yako shares the inspiration behind their powerful piece.

This is a piece of work inspired by the experiences of woman in south africa. The title of the work is called “UMTHWALO ONZIMA” meaning heavy luggage/baggage. A sentiment of all that women in this country have to carry - while the rest of the country picks and chooses when to be concerned about their existence and danger.