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The Breadwinner


Mo Matli came to me with a concept she has been dying to explore: creating a conceptual video about the burden of the sole breadwinner in a South African family. Matli had already had an idea of what she wanted to shoot, but she needed a rationale to explain her concept and a script. Enter Tshepo Molefe the writer.


  • A rationale

  • 45-sec video script


Tshepo Molefe - Writer

Mo Matli - Director, Photography and Editor

Thuto Mokofeng - Photography, Cinematographer and Editor

Mongezi Gongo - Subject​

Melisizwe Gcola - Voice Over



Client: Mo Matli

Element: Video

Type: Conceptual

Length: 45”

Writer: Tshepo Molefe

Title: The Breadwinner


Client: Mo Matli

Element: Rationale

Type: Conceptual

Writer: Tshepo Molefe

Title: The Breadwinner

Imagine working a 9-to-5 from Monday to Friday. Sometimes even Saturdays are compromised.


When payday comes, you have a bill that consists of your ma who put you through school doing unspeakable jobs, your older sister who is still trying to get a job, your two year old nephew who needs nappies and food. Oh, let’s not forget your deadbeat uncle who lifts his butt only when he gets another bottle of Black Label. Somehow, your 9-to-5 salary needs you to support all of them, and yourself…


Do you see, and feel the weight of the term “Breadwinner”? Being a breadwinner means that you are the wall between your family drowning in debts and poverty and them merely surviving ‘til the next paycheck. Being a breadwinner means being a rift that is barely keeping your family afloat. Being a breadwinner is sacrificing your convenience for your family’s survival.


Welcome to our cycle of poverty.

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