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Wot-If? women were no longer ‘Hidden Figures’?

On Thursday, 23 February 2017, The Wot-If? Trust was privileged enough to accompany twenty young women to watch the critically-acclaimed ‘Hidden Figures’ film. The film recently debuted on American big screens and has since been nominated for three Golden Globes, three Academy Awards and has won ‘Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture’ at Screen Actors Guild. These accolades come as no surprise as Hidden Figures is…

“Directed by Theodore Melfi, relating the little known story of three pioneering black women, all math wizardreal AKA hidden figures photoss at NASA, who had a formidable impact on history. Known as ‘colored computers’, all three crossed racial and gender boundaries in the challenging fields of analytical geometry, engineering and rocket science. Defying the odds in the face of prejudice, they combined courage with intellectual rigor, pursuing excellence and helping America to ultimately win the Space Race. Great role models, they also paved the way for future generations. Yet remarkably, until now, hardly anyone knew their names.”* Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan are the names of the above mentioned women who belonged to the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, established in 1908.

This exclusive #HiddenFigures screening in Johannesburg, South Africa was made possible by Alpha Kappa Alpha’s Psi Tau Omega Chapter, IBM, The American Embassy to South Africa, Times Media Live and Movies @ Montecasino.

The warm welcome with finger foods, wine and soft smiles was followed by a panel discussion with the distinguished likes of Ms. Cathy Mohlahlana of eNCA as the moderator between (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) STEM heavy weights. This included Camille Agon (Director and Co-Founder of WeThinkCode), Dr. Buyisiwe Sondezi (the first woman in Africa to be awarded a PhD in the field of Experimental Physics of Highly Correlated Matter), Nomso Kana (Nuclear Scientist and Tech entrepreneur), Taryn Tim (Senior Business Analyst) and Tina L. Turner (Founder and CEO of Heritage STEM Camps, Inc.). The accumulated accolades of these women filled the room with hope, inspiration and motivation. The perfect introduction to a life-changing film. 

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Instead of reviewing the film we will leave it up to you to watch and learn. The trailer can be found here: https://youtu.be/RK8xHq6dfAo

Already screening in other parts of the world, Ster-Kinekor cinemas will be showing ‘Hidden Figures’ from 24 February 2017.

*http://www.elainelipworth.com/