DOCUMENTARY FILM| 'I've been trying'. 8 years without a job. - Youth Capital

DOCUMENTARY FILM| ‘I’ve been trying’. 8 years without a job.


Directed by Eh!woza’s Sam Flans with camera work by Alfa Fipaza, narrated by Pearl Thusi and with commentary by advocacy campaign Youth Capital, ‘I’ve been trying’. 8 years without a job is a short documentary film that uncovers the real challenges young people face on their journey to employment – the film launched on Youth Day, with an online panel discussion with Prof Ariane De Lannoy (Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit), Dylan Valley (University of Cape Town), filmmaker Sam Flans (Eh!woza), filmmaker and actor Quanita Adams, and Dimpho Lekgeu (Youth Lab), facilitated by Youth Capital’s Lethiwe Nkosi.


According to the latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey, 4 in 10 young people between the ages of 25 and 34 years old are not in employment. In face of these growing numbers, the far-reaching impact of this unemployment crisis on young people’s lives is often invisible. The documentary features the true stories behind the statistics we read in the media, and the practical ways in which young people try to overcome the roadblocks and barriers on their journey to employment, every single day.


With over 9.2 million young people not in employment, education or training, ‘I’ve been trying’. 8 years without a job is young people’s testament to these trying times. In the documentary film, young film-maker Sam Flans, Creative Director at Eh!woza, engages with nine young South Africans based in Cape Town on their present realities and future hopes; their families, their studies, and their job-seeking experiences, two years after the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown. Research is further leveraged to demonstrate how these individual stories are not isolated, but often the norm.

The majority of young South Africans face similar challenges, because they are the result of systemic roadblocks that lock them out of the economy. ‘I’ve been trying’. 8 years without a job doesn’t only frame youth unemployment from young people’s perspective. It highlights solutions that should be prioritised to improve certification rates, to make job-seeking truly affordable, and to ensure that young people’s small or big actions can translate into steps to sustainable livelihoods. Lastly, the documentary film celebrates young people’s resilience and determination, even though the ‘fear of becoming unemployable’ is as constant as their awareness that their time as youth is slipping away.

Community screenings across South Africa.

The short documentary film is screened in over 20 communities across South Africa during the month of June, in partnership with young Campaigners and organisations that are Part of the Action Plan such as Sunshine Cinema and Bulungula Incubator. Get in touch to arrange your own screening!

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