South African Tracing His Bajan Roots Through Film


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Orderson to find his bajan roots

South African film-maker Kurt Orderson (left) speaking with Searchlight’s Sheron Garraway on his mission to find his roots in Barbados.
Staff Reporter 13.OCT.06

His great grand father Joseph Orderson was a Barbadian who felt oppressed by the colonial regime in Barbados and left the Caribbean island to live in the South African nation of Soweto.

But four generations later great grandson Kurt Orderson is turning the camera on himself to make a film about his journey to find his “Bajan” roots.

The award winning independent filmmaker who was documenting his journey in Barbados for two weeks, however took the opportunity to conduct a film workshop on Thursday October 5 at the Peace Memorial Hall, in St Vincent and the Grenadines upon invitation from local representative of the Global African Congress Andre Liverpool.

Orderson, a film graduate of the Monasha University in South Africa, said that his sister who is a journalist/political activist inspired him to live his dreams and make an impact, hence his work in films like “Definition of Freedom.”

The 24-year-old who is also a television producer/director for children’s news, which airs on the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation, considers himself firstly a cultural activist who uses film as a medium to get his messages across.

Proud of his Bajan and Caribbean heritage, Oderson said that he comes from

a working class family where he is the only boy of four sisters and his mother is a seamstress while his father is a screen printer.

He said that coming from such humble upbringing motivates him to use film as a weapon for social change and he has formed his multi-media company called Ziontrain Productions which he hopes to expand.

Oderson said that he couldn’t wait to complete his film where he shows the paternal connection of his Afro-Caribbean root and describes the film as a puzzle yet to be made whole.

The young filmmaker who shared his story with participants at the film-making workshop encouraged those who wished to pursue film to take up the challenge and to let their creativity flow.

In appreciation for his visit Orderson was given the book “St Vincent and the Grenadines - A National Treasure” by Dr Edgar Adams