Byline: Kelebogile Masemola

06 June 2022

Filmmaker and brewer Obakeng Malope has initiated the Beer is Art campaign to encourage unemployed youth to become beer makers.

The 33 year old originally from Brits said she has travelled to 10 countries for festivals and in pursuit of her dream to have her own beer and brewery.

“Because I have travelled to 10 countries because of film festivals and got to learn different cultures and food.

When I decided to follow my passion for beer I already had that experience under my belt and I was going to implement that in the beer industry.

I wanted to make films about our growing South African craft beer industry, our beers and our brewers.

The dream is to have my own beer and brewery,” said Malope.

She added that during lockdown, she was already on the Cicerone Certification Programme by Black Beer Chick.

“I was on a road to 100 cicerone certification programme by Black Beer Chick USA and have also learned introduction to brewing by Brewster’s Craft here in South Africa.

Eugenia Brown from the USA came up with an online programme where we logged into Zoom and got taught beer and food pairing, beer brewing, tasting beer, Brown took 100 black women and gave them this opportunity.

I was doing newspaper interviews where the brewers would give me their beer and I would do tasting, educating the journalists and people about their beer,” Malope said.

Malope said the campaign ‘Beer is Art’ is not only educating the students but also profiles the brewers, their beer and the industry.

“South Africa is experiencing a massive wave of craft beer in the country, why a person may ask himself, human beings have a need or desire to create, you cannot always expect people to cook for you and sometimes you want to do it for yourself.

“I will have to shoot the lessons as I am a filmmaker and distribute the lessons, and the funds will sponsor the next students.

We are also still searching for funding and at the moment we only have teachers and podcasters meanwhile engaging with Tunisians and Japanese hoping to start in the following year.

Funders are skeptical, however I am building an audience to prove that this is needed,” Malope said.

Malope said she launched Beer is Art to inspire unemployed youth and teach them about beer and how you can turn it into a career.

“The youth are sitting at home unemployed here in South Africa, the campaign teaches about beer, that beer is not something that you drink and get drunk off as we show them how they can turn beer into a career,” she said.

She further added they hoped to start next year, and people who would like to be part of the campaign can follow her on social media platforms for information.