There was something distinctly surreal about Catherine, Mazunzo and Susan, with whom we had spent so long in their own community of Luchenza in Malawi, being here with us on Scottish turf – literally! We didn’t really have chance to get to know Martha during our time in Malawi as she had been involved in the production of a school choir CD and not the documentary we were filming.
Martha is a lovely fun-loving and happy girl who is good competition for Mazunzo on the mischievous and humorous personality front. Her disability, as a result of polio, means she gets about on crutches. These are made purely of cast iron, are extremely hard and heavy and offer nothing in the way of comfort. Unfazed, enthusiastic and determined, there is nothing Martha will not do and indeed she could be relied upon to get involved in every activity going off. On her arrival in Scotland she had been given a set of aluminium crutches, which were far lighter and more comfortable. She was looking forward to taking them back home with her where she walks two hours to school and back each day.
Martha and Catherine enjoyed playing ‘boules’ whilst Mazunzo and Susan were more interested in a kick-about but everyone was enthused by a good old-fashioned game of ‘elastics’. We had filmed the girls in Malawi playing what we call ‘elastics’, with a skipping rope made from lengths of vine knotted together. The girls were delighted that their Scottish friends were familiar with the same game but far more impressed by our ‘rope’ made from elastic bands, as back home their skipping games are interrupted constantly by breakages in the vine ‘rope’ and the frustrating task of repairing it.
This link will take you to the short film Rumble produced in Malawi about girls and their struggle for an education www.rumblelimited.tv/malawi
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