A local videographer uses his footage of lockdown on social media to raise funds to help those in need.

A local videographer and photographer has taken to social media to raise funds for people in need during the lockdown in South Africa. Chad Nathan, 26, using his footage of the lockdown on and the power of social media has managed to raise more than R300 000 for a campaign he calls “Raising Hope”. 

People without homes living under the Culemborg Bridge in Cape Town during covid-19  lockdown on April 10, 2020. Photo: Chad Nathan

Nathan, who is self-taught, started to document the lockdown on Friday, March 27, by taking photos and videos of the communities and places in Cape Town,  Khayelitsha  and Mfuleni townships. 

Nathan said, “ I have shown the other side of Cape Town that no one speaks about and I feel like I gave insight into what is going on”.  In his experience, a number of communities have simply ignored the lockdown regulations. The reality, he says, is that staying at home and indoors  is not realistic if there are 10 people living in one house. 

Nathan posts his images to his Instagram account, @Gingerwithagopro. His images are a striking contrast between the barrenness of the Cape Town CBD and the bustling spaces of the townships. The images garner significant responses but Nathan says the impact is likely giving the country a negative outlook. 

“It showed how the country was starving and so I decided to link up with organisations that were doing something about it,” said Nathan, a freelance, self-taught videographer and photographer.

Macaroni and Fish being prepared to feed children in Lavender Hill in Cape Town. April 16, 2020. Photo: Chad Nathan

These comments [on the posts], Nathan said, were mostly positive and almost every one ended with, ‘How can I help’ or ‘Is there anywhere we can give’.  Nathan said the posts had attracted international support. “People from around the world follow me and people themselves with bigger followings like photographers and influencers in Germany or America or Mexico re-posted my story onto their pages reached another 10 000-20 000 new people and I think it aided in helping this campaign get to where it is at right now.” 

The first organisation that Nathan became involved with was Ladles of Love. Nathan came across the organisation after a request from one of his friends to use a photo of his for a Ladles of Love campaign.The Cape Town-based organisation is a soup kitchen run by volunteers who provide food for the homeless. 

Nathan shot behind the scenes footage for the organisation which formed part of a fundraising video produced by the organisation.

Nathan’s own fundraising intiative, “Raising Hope” runs through BackaBuddy and contributes to established organisations such as Cans with Purpose, Ladles of Love, Breadline Africa and Courage which are all assist people in need.   

Nathan intially aimed to raise R150 000 for the various organisations by documenting their work but received an overwhelming response. 

In just 9 days since the start of the fundraiser on April 18, Raising Hope managed to raise  R 323 909.89. Chad said, “Each organisation is getting R50 000”. The remaining fund they have raised will be donated to other organisations needing it.”

Joshua Rubin, a documentary photographer who often works with Nathan said during a live stream with Nathan on Sunday, April 26  that, “the ripple effect of posting even the link to this initiative has a major effect on the people it reaches and the donating”.

FEATURED IMAGE: Profile Chad Nathan and his ‘Raising Hope’ campaign. Photo: Provided