Rising From Ashes is screening at 6:30pm on 27 February 2014 at Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Newtown, Johannesburg as a fundraiser for what will be the first all-African Tour de France team.
Narrated by Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker, the inspiring documentary has already won awards at more than a dozen film festivals worldwide.
Six years in the making, Rising From Ashes is the story of Team Rwanda, which was established in 2006 by American cycling legend Jacques ‘Jock’ Boyer. He moved to ‘the land of a thousand hills’ to help survivors of the genocide pursue their dream of creating a national cycling team, which is now growing from strength to strength.
During the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, star rider Adrien Niyonshuti lost six of his brothers. 18 years later, at the 2012 Olympics in London, he competed in the cross-country mountain bike race, becoming the first black African to complete a mountain bike race in Olympic history.
Last year Team Rwanda started assisting countries like Ethiopia and Eritrea with smaller equipment needs and technical support. They now have a formal agreement with the cycling federations of Eritrea and Ethiopia to develop and supply their cycling program, with a focus on training cyclists for the 2016 Rio Olympics and beyond.
Team Rwanda’s next phase is the development of Africa’s first all-African team to attempt the greatest cycling event in the world: the Tour de France.
Directed by TC Johnstone, Rising From Ashes will inspire the thousands of South African cyclists practicing for next month’s Cape Argus Cycle Race, but it’s not just about the bike: it also tells a broader story of redemption, hope and second chances in a country that, like South Africa, is still recovering from its past and in desperate need of new heroes.
Tickets for the fundraiser are on sale for R200 each, with all proceeds going towards building cycling talent in Africa through Team Rwanda. Book tickets here.