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Counting Headz - South Afrika’s Sistaz in Hip Hop, Vusi Magubane and Erin Offer, Southafrica/Canada 2007, 49 min.

Counting Headz: South Afrika’s Sistaz in Hip Hop is a messenger. To voice stories that are drowned out at home among the louder male voices. To show the First World that there ist an abundance of amazing talent and movement in Africa. And to tell the world it is time to celebrate.

This ground-breaking documentary reaveals the position of South Africa’s women from the perspectives of three major actors in South Africa’s hip hop scene.

Mc Chi introduces the alleged contradiction of values between African cultures and hip hop culture. Is it possible to reconcile the two? Is is worth it to reconcile the two? Her questions thread together the obstacles encountered by fellow sistaz.

Dj Sistamatic is challenged by a distorted portrayal of her persona in the media. Candidly and honestly, she recounts her resistance against pressure to conform to male-formed images of women as she continues to make a name for herself.

Family relationships are tested by their daughters stepping outside traditional roles. Graffiti artist Smirk finds a way beyond her family’s initial misgivings about her art and prepares to merge living hip hop and becoming a mother.

Alternately, they are supported and contradicted by an all-female community of hip hop artists and activists from the locally respected mc, Cuba, to the internationally acclaimed crew, Godessa.

Counting Headz is many things: a collaboration, a labour o love, a celebration. But most importantly, it voices these women’s stories that often go unheard.

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