Decades since the apartheid system was dismantled, Ade Adepitan travels deep into rural South Africa to discover what lies beyond the borders of the “whites-only” town of Orania. Created in the 90s as a “safe haven” for Afrikaners, descendants of white European settlers, Orania still only welcomes white Afrikaners to live and work in the town.
Nigerian-born Adepitan has been invited by the Oranian community to spend a week living in the town where monuments and photographs of apartheid leaders, including Hendrik Verwoerd, the “architect of apartheid”, are widely on display. As Ade gets to know the residents, he goes on a journey to explore their beliefs and try to understand why they continue to live in a society that excludes people because of the colour of their skin. Many who live there believe the Oranian way of life not to be racist but is a cultural project, created to protect the traditions of Afrikaners and allow their culture to endure.
Ade Adepitan said: “I learnt a lot making this film. Through my work, I have been fortunate to have encountered many different cultures and environments around the world, but the personal experience I had making this film really opened my eyes. It was extremely challenging and thought-provoking, but I think it’s crucial we highlight alternative points of view and engage with people whose beliefs are different from our own, and we’re grateful to the community for openly and honestly engaging with our documentary.”
Narinder Minhas, Cardiff Productions’ CEO, said: “Ade is one of the nicest people in television, and watching him get under the skin of some of the most hardcore people on this planet is fascinating. It’s only by going to the extremes that you truly understand a country and its culture.”
Deep Sehgal, Head of Creative Diversity for Motion Content Group, said: “This is exactly the kind of production that Motion Content Group and Channel 4’s Diverse Indies Fund was created to support. We’re delighted to see our partnership helping to enable compelling stories to be told from such unique and thought-provoking perspectives.”
“Ade: My Week in the Whitest Place on Earth” (w/t) is a 1×60’ produced by Cardiff Productions/Motion Content Group. It was commissioned for Channel 4 by Daniel Fromm, Commissioning Editor, Factual Entertainment. The Executive Producer for Cardiff Productions is Narinder Minhas, the Producer/Director is Dominic Ozanne, and the Line Producer is Lindsay Davies. The Executive Producer for Motion Content Group is Deep Sehgal, and the Head of Production is Caroline Bourne.