Sausage Film Company is a collaboration between Struan Douglas, author of Story of South African Jazz Book Series, published by afribeat.com and multi-media producer, poet and military veteran Vusi Mchunu.
Sausage Films was formed in 2020 to elevate the Story of South African Jazz research, to package it, and to present it in an accessible format. Paying homage to the pioneers of South African Jazz who left a legacy of sacrifice, self-expression, wisdom and bravery. Sausage Films is adapting these books into an audio visual series, to better accessibility, include wider young and old audiences across gender, age, and colour.
The Story of South African Jazz has played a central role in the development of the multi-cultural and globally relevant South Africa we have today. South African jazz has had several generations of strong musical development in all corners of the world and has a rich potential for making an impact on future generations in historical, heritage and music education.
S.A Jazz is now in the schools’ education syllabus: IEB, Grade 11’s learn about Cross-over, Kwaito, SA protest music, Afrikaans protest songs and SA rock. Grade 12’s learn about SA Urban music, Ingoma ebusuku styles including mbube and isicathamiya and early jazz including marabi, vocal jive jazz, kwela and mbaqanga. They also learn about instrumentation, improvisation, rhythm, melody and harmony, marabi progression, characteristics, leading artists, and the socio-political context.
The school curriculum for Grades 11 and 12 covers S.A. music, including South African Jazz, an umbrella term which shelters many S.A music genres including traditional, indigenous, modern and futuristic sounds.
The intention of the Sausage Film Company is to launch a series of South African Jazz audio visual episodes to share the mentorship, humanity and intelligence behind the unique style of Jazz thinking, being and living that has developed out of South Africa.
This is both a historical legacy project respecting and honouring the greats of our jazz story and it is a living heritage project, showcasing the dynamic roots and routes of this music.
Sausage Film Company lends itself to an online (social media, app and website) platform for learning more about SA jazz. This will be presented in a modern, multimedia, youthful and exuberant way.
Primary Goals Sausage Films provides an inclusive baseline research to South African Jazz, as a musical, social and economic platform. Sausage Films aims to alter the stereotypes. Gender, race, class, socio-economic standing, region and ability/disability are replaced with an inclusive, allencompassing accessibility.
Sausage Films presents a style of “Jazz Thinking” centred around Change. Jazz in South Africa has triumphed. It has healed the identity crisis, isolation, political oppression and depression.
Sausage Films aims to bring upliftment through knowledge sharing to an all-inclusive music, arts and culture community. Sausage Films aims to showcase South African Jazz as a unique musical language.
Sausage Films aims to expose and connect to the universal appeal of South African Jazz, that is being expanded in many regions around the world. Sausage Films aims to document the past, present and future appeal of South African Jazz. A knowledge foundation built on the paths of those that have walked before and those that continue to pave bright futures. Sausage Films aims to provide an audio-visual platform to educate young and old on this indigenous knowledge that is South African Jazz.
Sausage Films will produce a series of films aiming to connect South Africans and music lovers all over with this unique story called South African Jazz.
“Jazz is a unifying language. It brings people together and provides the vocabulary to have a great musical dialogue. SA jazz is a transformative shift to sharing. It is uBuntu in action.” Struan Douglas
About the directors
Struan is the author of the Story of South African Jazz Books Vol. 1 & Vol.2, Vol. 3 forthcoming. These works bring a much needed structure and deep research into a South African Jazz oral history and general knowledge curriculum.
Struan is a South African based African cultural writer, performer, presenter, activist and educator. He has Honours in Philosophy and Religion from the Social Sciences Department University of Cape toawn, 1999. He studied music at University of
KwaZulu natal, Howard College, and has RSM5 in theory and trumpet performance Ukusa UKZN (2012).
He is a professional freelance journalist, specialising in Pan African culture, the producer of four music albums and the author of six other books. His website afribeat.com was launched in 2000 and remains a positive content portal for promoting unique African stories and realities through creativity.
Sausage Films is co-executive produced by Vusi Macingwane Mchunu; author, historian, poet and cultural activist, brings a mentorship approach to African indigenous knowledge systems, through creativity. He has helped transform many cultural heritage spaces around the country and is a jazz afficionado. Vusi holds a Master of Arts degree from the Free University of Berlin. He has been Executive Chairman of House of Memory(2007-2014). This heritage consultancy provided professional solutions to clients in the heritage, museums, exhibitions, public programming and tourism experiences sector for Africa and the world. Vusi has been Chief Director Heritage for the Department of Military Veterans. His books are Stronger Souls, Pipe Dreams and Pleiades-Isilimela. He is a cancer survivor. His M.A. thesis from the Free University of Berlin, Germany ,was: The Harlem Renaissance (1920 - 1935) in New York and the Sophiatown Renaissance in Johannesburg (1944 1966) and the permanent exhibition, ‘Glimpses of South African Music’, at the Downtown Music Hub in Johannesburg.