Meet the young South African musician bringing hope to his hometown

In Little Light of Mine, filmmaker Bastien Lienardy tells the hopeful story of Twizz

Twizz is determined not to become a victim of circumstance. In Bastien Lienardy’s short film Little Light of Mine, we meet the young musician at a crossroads, struggling to come to terms with the city that has shaped him, while vowing to not let it consume him.

Little Light of Mine is a fraction of Twizz’s personal story,” Lienardy tells Dazed. “A young artist who grew up in the township of Gugulethu, a notorious area around Cape Town, South Africa. The film is a moment of ‘pause’ in his life, dealing with the idea of representation, and tackling the issue of social determinism.”

In his film, Lienardy offers an insight into not only Twizz’s psyche, but into the everyday lives of township residents. The portraits of Gugulethu locals are honest and intimate, through the prism of surrealist shots and a dreamy aesthetic. Poetically narrated by Mpumelelo Tswelopele Sefalane, we learn how violent crime and poverty marrs town life. In the streets of CPT, there’s at least 80 stabbings each day. Twizz is desperate to escape the cycle.

“I wanted to bring the arthouse to the hood,'' the director explains. “There are over one million stories to be told in the townships, I found my first one. I honestly hope this project will move people and ​help uncover areas and stories that are not very well known or told today.”

“I lived in Cape Town for two years, and wanted to work on the idea of bringing more light and hope to places that are considered as dark and gloomy,” he adds.

The take-home message from Little Light of Mine is, still, one of hope. No one is chained to the trajectory their upbringing may dictate, the future is always in their hands. “Believe me my G, I’ll be twice the man I had planned to be,” Twizz asserts.

Watch Little Light of Mine above