Amanda Koster

thoughts and experiences of an international documentarian

stay in your dreams, dreams can not hurt us.

with 6 comments

… this is what ms biko said to us on the phone to me today.

wow. what a day.

backing up. we just got off a skype conference all with ms. bandi biko, steven bikos sister. we (neema mgana, sabrina messineo, guy de lancey and vaneshran + cape town team of citizen journalists) are working on a project to highlight 20 african women leaders. for the pilot we will profile ms bandi biko. we are funded by the international ywca in geneva for this first part, and from there we will profile another women creating a multi-media piece/tool kit to use for a mentoring platform for other young african women and men, salaamgarage style.

today we had our first conference call thanks for vaneshran and guy, cape town based. besides going thru the basic blah blah blah of a conference call…  something happened.

b4 any call i sit quietly in the morning and imagine. write what i’d like to cover, what the vision is for the project and any crazy ideas i have. it needs to be quiet, uninterrupted time early in the morning. combined with writing i’ll scour the internet and research who i will be talking with. i give myself an hour on purpose, cuz the internet is full of info and its important not to get thrown off course.

this morning i wrote up a preliminary plan for the pilot with ms biko i did the usual: visualize the project, what the goals are, what we told the granter we would do, keeping the budget in mind. and then i usually throw the budget out the window and write whatever comes to me, whatever i imagine. my dreams for the project. for this project the seemingly far-fetched idea was history. now i know we are supposed to profile ms biko but it is impossible to hear the name biko and not think of steven biko.

Picture 6

impossible. so i added it. history. you’ll see it in the paper here, in small letters. you’ll also see i didn’t know where the bikos were from at first, until i later researched:

Picture 7

so. on the phone we talked.. blah blah blah and vaneshran said something crucial. ‘it would be good to include ms bikos personal story’ in a calm, smooth voice. ‘agreed. the interview will be the opportunity for that’.’

i was quiet. ‘well, i have another idea.’  i asked.. ‘this may be far off, but i was dreaming that we could go back with you to your home town in the eastern cape. not sure if this is at all possible.. tho i had some ideas… they are dreams…’

‘we can stay in your dreams, dreams can not hurt us.’ she said in such a way that i (nearly) cried. in that moment all i could think of was steven biko and if he hadn’t dreamed, if he hadn’t followed his dreams and vision, we could not have been talking.

‘ok. i was dreaming we could go with you back to where you and steven are from, see your family home, high school… your history… ‘ i was gushing then, spilling out all of what i was really hoping we could do.

everyone was quite for a moment.

‘yes, this is possible.’

it was very hard for me to contain my enthusiasm and form a response…  also my tears. in that moment we all felt it. i felt her brother working this magic. magic.

turns out ms biko will be traveling to eastern cape when we were planing to be there for some family functions. turns out there will be a traditional wedding. turns out steven bikos birthday is on 12/18. ms biko was telling us it is a big event. people come from all over to celebrate. whoa.

‘i have a BIG family. very big. you are welcome’ i could hear her sit back in her chair and smile.

my god. if you are dreaming of something SAY IT. do it. do not hold back. look at this: a small scribble in my early morning notes has turned into this. you have no idea what steven biko has meant to me from very early on. its hard to explain, tho i will try in the coming months.

always imagine what you can do. imagine.

Written by amandakoster

November 5, 2009 at 8:04 pm

Posted in passion

6 Responses

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  1. […] After about decade and a half as a professional storyteller, countess projects some very successful, some complete duds, I find myself on a skype call with Bandi Biko. We are planning the project, scheduling  this and that .. then I drop the bomb: I tell the team I have been dreaming of seeing where Bandi is from.  The call got real quiet. You can see the levels of audio on a Skype call and they went down to zero for, awhile. I’ve written about this already: https://amandakoster.wordpress.com/2009/11/05/stay-in-your-dreams-dreams-can-not-hurt-us/ […]

  2. […] After about decade and a half as a professional storyteller, countess projects some very successful, some complete duds, I find myself on a skype call with Bandi Biko. We are planning the project, scheduling  this and that … then I drop the bomb: I tell the team I want to see where Bandi is from.  The call got real quiet. You can see the levels of audio on a Skype call and they went down to zero for… awhile. I’ve written about this already: https://amandakoster.wordpress.com/2009/11/05/stay-in-your-dreams-dreams-can-not-hurt-us/ […]

  3. Hello There,
    I really love your article on personal trainer cape town south africa. And great work on the concept of your website
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    Pilates Cape Town

    August 8, 2012 at 10:31 am

  4. Really helpful piece stay in your dreams, dreams can not hurt us. Amanda Koster! Always keep publishing

  5. […] After about decade and a half later I resurface as a professional storyteller, building countess projects; some very successful, some complete duds, I find myself on a skype call with Bandi Biko. We are planning the project, scheduling  this and that … then I drop the bomb: “I want you to take us to where you’re from.”  The call got real quiet. You can see the audio levels of each caller on Skype and they all went down to zero. I’ve written about this already: https://amandakoster.wordpress.com/2009/11/05/stay-in-your-dreams-dreams-can-not-hurt-us/ […]

  6. […] After about decade and a half later I resurface as a professional storyteller, building countess projects; some very successful, some complete duds, I find myself on a skype call with Bandi Biko. We are planning the project, scheduling  this and that … then I drop the bomb: “I want you to take us to where you’re from.”  The call got real quiet. You can see the audio levels of each caller on Skype and they all went down to zero. I’ve written about this already: https://amandakoster.wordpress.com/2009/11/05/stay-in-your-dreams-dreams-can-not-hurt-us/ […]


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