Okuhle Media recently produced a 3 part Documentary series called Ocean Adventurer. As part of our social investment we vouched to teach underprivileged children how to swim. We partnered up with the Swim School Aqua Crazy, owned by Thaaniya Ameeroedien. We documented the children’s swimming activities, and produced 2 x 2minute inserts that will be aired on the children show HN9, aired on SABC2 weekdays from 4pm – 5pm. It was a very rewarding project and a real privilege to see the children progress from their first lesson to their last!
Here’s a write-up of the school:
OCEAN ADVENTURER – SOCIAL INVESTMENT
Teaching underprivileged children how to swim:
Working in the film and television industry, individuals require diverse and complex skill set that not only includes technical training applying specifically to their job, but a much wider range of life skills. These can be anything from time management to cope with the unpredictable working hours or the ability to drive to get to out of the way locations. On the Ocean Adventurer production the ability to swim was a prerequisite and essential skill for each and every member of the location crew on the grounds of health and safety in the work place and a skill that has been identified as lacking in many people of colour not only in the industry but also across the wider population.
The ability to swim is not just a skill that’s fun to have to spend summers down at the beach or around the local swimming pool but a skill that is essential to have in a country with over 3000km of coastline and countless inland bodies of water that range from lakes and dams to swimming pools or ponds.
Each year in South Africa there are numerous and unnecessary lives lost through drowning so in attempt to better educate people the Ocean Adventurer production has adopted a social responsibility project in which it aims to not only teach a group of youngsters to swim but to also get the message of swimming and water safety to a much wider audience.
The production funded intensive swimming lessons for a group of under privileged children aged between 4-6. Over the space of 6 weeks the children, some of whom had never been swimming before, were coached by a dedicated team of swimming teachers in the techniques of swimming as well as important lessons on water safety.
To ensure the message reaches not only the individuals that benefited from the lessons, the process was filmed for the SABC children’s TV production Hectic 9 Nine. The show has an average of 1 million viewers every day and reaches an even wider audience through its online presence. The swimming lessons have been edited into insert films that will feature on Hectic 9 Nine during a show based on water safety and the importance of learning to swim.
Rather than just teaching a handful of individuals to swim, by broadcasting the message it’s hoped that the more people will become water aware and more people will be encouraged to access swimming lessons so they can enjoy the water safely. However, an ability to swim is more than just about having fun and staying safe, it opens up a vast array of employment avenues beyond film and television and can be used in everything from tourism to marine science.