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Dr Jotello Festiri Soga
South Africa's First Veterinarian
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OUR CROWD FUNDING
In order to finance the completion of the documentary about this African pioneer, we have launched a campaign to raise US$230,000. So far, we have spent more than US$35,000 of our own funds to conduct research and plan for the film.
Recently, we received a substantial contribution - as well as a major expression of confidence - from the Joukowsky Family Foundation, whose primary focus of giving is on education. The Foundation also supports a wide range of cultural, social, archaeological, and historical activities.
This is not conventional crowd funding that involves reaching out to a large, anonymous universe. Our efforts to raise funds are focused on individuals and groups, such as the Joukowsky Family Foundation, that share our mission to inspire all South Africans, particularly young South Africans of all races and cultural groups, whose perceptions of their past and their hopes for their future are still being formed.
Fresh Eye, Clear Lens Productions is also contacting groups interested in preserving history, particularly parts of the past that have been overlooked, including the contributions of people whose accomplishments should always be remembered . . . and never be forgotten.
Our out-reach includes multinational corporations and other organizations that have a direct interest in animal health and agriculture, including the cattle and dairy industries, particularly in South Africa.
The documentary about Dr Soga is now ‘front and center,’ making its completion this year, the 25th Anniversary of the ‘new’ South Africa our priority.
It is important to state that subscriptions are not investments. We expect revenue from DVD sales and television broadcasting fees. But the film may not yield a profit, as such.
The return on your support will be measured on a higher, more noble scale, and by this measure the reward is infinite – indeed priceless.
Our distribution plan includes providing educational DVDs to schools, along with printed study guides, at cost so that students - South Africa’s next generation - will learn about Dr Soga’s life and legacy as they naturally acquire other knowledge. Please read our “Our Philosophy...Our Mission”
Therefore, contributions should be seen as generating cultural and social – rather than financial – rewards. Our goal is to create a visual record about an unusual South African, a Xhosa who helped save his country’s food supply and economy from collapse in the late 19th Century. Otherwise, his achievements might be lost . . . again.
For many South Africans – even today – details about Dr Soga’s life are not easily accessible. They should be!
Dr Soga’s contribution to the eradication of rinderpest, also called cattle plague, was critically important, like the other members of the team. Their efforts, including Dr Soga’s, have earned them a permanent place in the pantheon of South African heroes.
However, after the danger of rinderpest passed, Dr Soga was pushed to the margins of British colonial society because he was a Black African. His existence almost disappeared from South African history.
The research for this film project has yielded rare documents from Dr Soga’s student days in Scotland in the late 1800’s, as well as archival images of his family. Other material includes copies of professional articles he wrote for the old Cape Colony Agricultural Journal more than 120 years ago.
Another part of Dr Soga’s legacy is the link to his rich and legendary Xhosa heritage.
All of these fascinating elements – illustrated with compelling video and still images and an exciting narrative - will be blended together in a 51-minute documentary film.
Within a few weeks, we will have a 8-minute promotional video – a kind of expanded preview – of the full movie about Dr Soga. You will be able to access it here on our website by a single click, and also on our Facebook page.