The Unthinkable documentary has not only received its first nomination for film awards but has now been  selected by South Africa's SABC1 to be among the programs to be broadcast this May as part of the station’s Africa month celebrations. An excited Comfort Ndzinisa confirmed that the documentary was getting rave reviews across the continent hence the recent nomination and replay by the SABC. 

The documentary was selected for the 2022 edition of ECOCINE - INTERNATIONAL CINEMA FESTIVAL FOR ENVIRONMENTAL AND HUMAN RIGHTS which will be on air from August 11 (19 GMT) until August 21 (23 GMT). There will be 11 days of festival celebrating 30 years of ECOCINE. The documentary was selected from hundreds of films from 56 different countries.

The Unthinkable was co-produced by Comfort Ndzinisa and Manqoba Nxumalo in collaboration with eSwatini Solidarity Fund. It features witness accounts from survivors of police brutality during the 2021 unrest in eSwatini, as well as families’ accounts of those who lost loved ones. Among other survivors is political activist, Madzabudzabu Kunene, a husband and father who lost his leg while protesting for a right to choose his government.

This was  a first documentary production by Ndzinisa, who now runs Mzomba Productions, and had no prior experience before embarking on this project. He told The Bridge that prior to the production of the documentary, he didn’t even have much interest in politics until he was persuaded by his co-producer, Nxumalo, to do this project.

Commenting on the success of the documentary, Nxumalo said he wanted to acknowledge the unsung heroes of the project.

The documentary made airwaves in South Africa’s SABC through the Solidarity Fund’s Sbera Sibandze who used his networks to ensure that the production goes beyond the borders of the Kingdom. Had it not been for Sbera, we would not have gotten where we are. I also want to thank the Swaziland Lives Matter Global Solidarity Movement’s Saneliswa Magagula and Temazulu Zulu who worked tirelessly on the background as researchers, especially when SABC wanted us to edit out clips from competing channels in South Africa. On that night, when we had to deliver an edited version of the documentary, WhatsApp collapsed and the two worked  tirelessly around the clock late into the night to ensure we had all the new material we needed to meet SABC standards,” Nxumalo said. 

Ndzinisa, a teacher by profession, is now working on another documentary, together with Nxumalo which will mark a year since the massacre in June last year. The new documentary traces the events across time that led to the events of June last year. The Unthinkable has already been shown in Taiwan, USA and many other countries, thanks to the work of the Swazi Lives Matter Global Solidarity Movement which has used it as a campaign tool for democracy.


In celebration of its 30th anniversary, ECOCINE will award audio-visual works produced all the way back from 1992. Works on the themes of Environment and Human Rights, in fiction, animation/live action and documentary formats, of short, medium and feature films will be awarded. These include, but not limited to, work that dialogue with the UN SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) which may compose special thematic panels. Works in the Environment and Human Rights categories will be awarded, in various formats. The documentary was nominated by a panel of 48 judges from 13 different countries.

In 1972, the Stockholm Conference marked the first major world movement towards building a common future: the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment. At this first major meeting of heads of state organized by the UN, issues related to environmental degradation were addressed with a view to establishing attempts to improve human relations with the Environment. The guiding principle was the search for a balance between economic development and reduction of environmental degradation, a principle that later evolved into the notion of sustainable development. This concept gestated since the 1970s was disseminated in 1987 in the Brundtland Report (Our Common Future), a document that indicated that the poverty of the countries of the then third world and the high consumerism of the countries of the first world were the fundamental causes that prevented equal development in the world, producing serious environmental crises. The document also pointed to the risks of climate change (global warming, acid rain, destruction of the ozone layer), environmental destruction by increasing industrialization and the loss of biodiversity, topics that were still new in the world debate.

The document excelled in the neutral stance, without attribution of blame and goals to be achieved by nations were established, suggesting the establishment of limits for controlling environmental degradation and the stimulus to overcome poverty through development. It was also suggested to hold another world event, which took place in Brazil 20 years later: ECO 92, Earth Summit, also known as RIO 92. At this great event, the Biodiversity Convention was signed by 156 countries and the Earth Charter was published, a declaration of fundamental ethical principles for the construction of a just, sustainable and peaceful global society, offering a new framework to guide the transition to a sustainable future. In this context, the first environmental film festival in Brazil is born: ECOCINE.

“The world needs love, friendship, respect, generosity, action, construction and reconstruction. The world needs several things but, perhaps, one of the most important is INSPIRATION,” reads the ECOCINE website with the hope that filmmakers and the public will inspire and be inspired. “Let's (re)discover the value of people, groups, actions and gestures that are capable of inspiring us to seek everything that the world, in fact, calls for,” it continues.