Reflections of Life produces gorgeous short films that uplift the personal stories of ordinary people, with the goal of sharing ideas and inspiring change. We feel hugely blessed to feature video-stories that filmmakers Michael and Justine capture with exquisite expertise, and which so beautifully illustrate grateful living principles and practices. In this short film we hear from Sayibonga.

Learn more about Reflections of Life (formerly Green Renaissance) through our Grateful Changemaker feature.

Questions for Reflection

  • What is your “gold”?
  • What is your most cherished connection with a particular place, and how does that connection nourish you?

We invite you to share your reflections below the video transcript that follows.

Video Transcript

For us, our culture is our life. The smoke that comes from the fire, it’s connected with our ancestors. And we’re sitting inside the smoke and fire because we know we’re all connected to each other. We share, we talk around the fire. We eat together. It’s our culture.

We treat each other as equal, not because of how much you have, what car you’re driving, what house you live in. People, they think maybe what we have is so little. For us, it’s enough. We’re happy.

We don’t understand what it means to be poor because we have everything we need. Because I live from the land.

Our ground or soil is our gold. It’s the richest thing we ever have because it gives us everything. We have plenty of land for farming. We’ve got sweet potatoes, we’ve got mielies, we’ve got veggies. And from the garden straight to the pot… still fresh as it is. We’re not putting any chemicals on our food.

We all give a hand to each other. Sometimes the old people, they can’t work the field anymore, they’re living alone, we go and do the field for that person to make sure that they’ve got food.

It’s not about one person in our village, it’s about everyone who lives in the village. We protect each other every single day.

I’m very, very happy to be born and bred in this area. This is the place that I’ve grown up, so for me, this place is like, everything in my life. We have waterfalls, we have beaches, we have gorges, we have rivers, we have clean sea. This place is beautiful and healthy. It’s like heaven.

In Pondo, we have a saying: Umntu ngumntu ngabantu nagemvelo. The person is the person because of the other people and nature. Without other people and nature you’re not a person. To be human, you must connect. I am connected with the land and other people. That’s a good life, and I’m happy. That’s all I need in my life.

To support Michael and Justine in their film-making journey, visit Reflections of Life.

Reflections of Life

Reflections of Life

About the author

Justine and Michael are a creative couple living in South Africa.  Their project, Reflections of Life (formerly Green Renaissance), works to spread positive stories that reflect the wonder of the world. With the goal of sharing ideas and inspiring change, they produce gorgeous short films that are posted online and available for anyone, anywhere, to watch and share freely.


Through their films, they explore what it means to be human. They touch on topics that can often be difficult for people to discuss – from loss of a loved one to aging and retirement to friendship to love and courage – universal themes that we all deal with at some stage in our lives.


By sharing these stories, Justine and Michael hope to remind us of one simple truth – that we are all human – that inside our hearts and minds, we are all facing similar challenges.  We have so much to learn from each other, and our connections run so much deeper and stronger than we think. Learn more and support their work at