LOCAL film production house, Khaya Holding Productions is set to release a movie titled Palesa, which explores the horrors suffered by human trafficking victims.
Produced by Tumahole Lechesa, the movie was directed by Paul Luanga and shot by Kamohelo Moabi at different scenes in and around Maseru and Bloemfontein.
The film, which is expected to be released onto the market on the 7th of next month is about a young, ambitious and vibrant 20-year-old woman named Palesa who comes from a humble background and is determined to make it in life through hard work. She if focused on her success to ensure that she can help her mother and sister come out of poverty.
Palesa however, falls prey to a crime syndicate involved in trafficking young women for sexual exploitation after meeting a flamboyant young man who is part of the ring on social media.
The young man named Jonathan poses as a recruiting agent for an international company which recruits people for different jobs in different countries.
Jonathan promises Palesa a good life and assures her that she would make enough enough money to send to her sick mother and pursue her education. However, when she arrives in South Africa, Palesa wakes up in a strange room after having been by her recruiter.
Determined to escape, she comes up with a daring plan to return home.
Dr Paul told the Weekender that every year, millions of children, women and men fall into the hands of traffickers, lured by fake promises and deceit. He said human trafficking has become a global multi-billion-dollar enterprise, affecting nearly every country in the world.
“Today, there are millions of people whose liberty, dignity and essential human rights have been stolen,” Dr Paul said.
“They are coerced into sexual exploitation, forced labor, domestic servitude, forced begging and stealing, and even compelled to “sell” skin and organs.”
He said the movie was meant to educate women and girls that not all that glitters is gold and that they should always be wary of stories like that of Palesa which are real.
Dr Paul said they were hoping to work with the government to see if the movie can be watched in different districts as the story needs to reach as many people as possible.
“Human trafficking is a sensitive and critical issue and it is rampant hence we would like people from all over the country to learn from the movie so that they do not fall into the same trap as does Palesa,” he said.
The hour-long movie features Puseletso Sekese as Palesa, Khetsi Rapita who plays Jonathan while Marethabile Makhesi plays the boss lady.
Dr Paul said they intend to premiere the movie at a yet to be confirmed venue in Maseru in next month where they will invite different stakeholders.
He further said that plans are underway to film three more movies this year one being a Christian movie which will be based on the social norms around Christianity.