Film Community Orgs

Documentary Details Mentoring Group’s South Africa Trip

final cut of film about Power of Perception’s journey likely available in September

Samantha Kobs |

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. Power of Perception
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. Power of Perception's trip to South Africa at the beginning of August was documented and showcased at the Pablo Center on Aug. 26 for the community. (Photos via Facebook)

On Saturday, Aug. 26, members of the community gathered at the Pablo Center at the Confluence to celebrate the accomplishments of the first-ever international trip by local nonprofit Power of Perception (POP), a Black-founded mentoring program that supports African-American and biracial students. Made possible through grant funding and private donations, Power of Perception mentors and mentees – along with founder Dennis Beale, other group facilitators, and their videographer, Ethan Best – flew roughly 10,000 miles to South Africa to embark on a two-week journey of the heart and soul earlier this summer.

The documentary follows the group’s trek across the country and the incredible experiences they had in South Africa. Beginning in Johannesburg, the group explored the vast history of the Soweto Township, most famous for its student uprising in 1976 in response to racist apartheid educational policies.

They also visited Constitution Hill (a former prison site where both Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi served time), the Constitutional Court of South Africa, and Mandela’s former home. Next, the students were taken on an unforgettable safari at Kruger National Park where they spotted each of the “Big Five” (lions, elephants, leopards, buffalo, and rhinos) also found themselves in the middle of a pride of lions – something even the tour guides were amazed by.

Videographer Ethan Best and POP Founder Dennis Beale
Videographer Ethan Best and POP Founder Dennis Beale

Eventually, the group made its way to Cape Town where they volunteered at the Belinda Kings Football Academy, hiked around the Cape of Good Hope and Table Mountain National Park, took in the views of Bo Kaap neighborhood, and experienced the Oranjezicht City Farm Market.

Perhaps the most impactful experience was when the mentees visited Muizenberg High School, where each mentee was paired up with a local high school student and followed them around, getting to experience a day in their shoes. Their emotional goodbyes show the magnitude of their connections with tears shed and mentees lost in quiet reflection on the bus ride back to the hotel.

The documentary is both candid and educational, seamlessly flowing from scenes of musical jam sessions and soccer games to more serious, vital moments of history and contemplation.

For those interested in more information on future events, projects, and opportunities for Power of Perception, community members are invited to like and follow their social media pages. The final version of the documentary will be available to view at the end of September on POP’s social media platforms.

For those looking to make a difference and donate or participate in Power of Perception, visit