The trigger to a life change
Since watching Khuli Chana’s new documentary, Picking Up The Pieces: The Khuli Chana Story, I’ve learnt not to take life for granted. Most importantly, I must live every day as if it’s my last day on earth. Who would have thought that the rapper would have survived being shot at nine times by police after being mistaken for a criminal in October 2013?
I’ve read stories before about Chana’s shooting, but when I heard him sharing his story in the documentary this week, I couldn’t stop the tears from streaming down my face. Just think, an innocent man could have lost his life because he was at the wrong place at the wrong time.
I was happy that, in the end, Chana found some justice. He reached a settlement with the police of just more than R2 million, but what happened to him could have happened to any of us.
Thursday’s documentary screening started as a bit of a damp squib, with an opening scene that didn’t show us the drama of what happened.
The event itself was also lacklustre – with no celebs, no red carpet, and only popcorn for snacks – not even any soft drinks. Chana said he did this intentionally – a glitzy premiere will be held at a later date.
Instead of a hail of bullets, the documentary begins when his music career started to take off. It then deals with his relationship with his little daughter, and only then does he tell his story about how he was shot.
He also shares how his life had changed after the shooting; how he had been afflicted by nightmares and paranoia.
The film was produced by Chana’s life partner, Asanda Maku.
She said both of them came up with the idea of the film. They sat down last year and discussed how they were going to present it to the public.
Maku said when Chana called her on the night of the shooting, she thought the world was ending. “Our daughter Nia was only three months old then. I just got dressed, I was in a tracksuit with pyjamas underneath. I just got into the car,” she said.
She said that the more they spoke about the shooting, the more her partner healed.
Asked what inspired the documentary’s title, Chana said: “The title is inspired by things I’ve been through in life. Things can really get bad and you’ll rather pick up the pieces. This reminds me that I’ve been through so much and now I’m picking up the pieces.”
He added: “This doccie was part of my healing process. I have forgiven, but I’m learning to forget.”
Khuli Chana and his partner, Asanda Maku