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BBC Presents – African Perspective: ‘Lipstick Evangelists’

BBC Presents - African Perspective: 'Lipstick Evangelists'

Here’s a story idea here worth exploring, for all you filmmakers, whether you work in scripted or documentary filmmaking.

The short story, courtesy of the BBC, goes… cosmetics giant Avon now sells far more products outside the US, where it was founded 126 years. In South Africa, business is booming and sales were up for a third year. Thousands of black women are said to be rushing to be the ones who sell the body lotions, bubble baths and lipsticks.

Like, Eunice Maseko, whose ambition to first of all be a doctor and then a teacher was thwarted by apartheid. In a country where unemployment stands at 25%, Avon is bound to appeal – but there is more to the job than the chance to earn some money, say many of these Avon Ladies.

High crime rates mean there is very little of the door-to-door selling, which is the company’s mantra. In an audio documentary from the BBC, a few of the thousands of black South African women are followed, as they show how inventive South African Avon Ladies have to be, to shop their wares, selling just within their ethnic group or beyond South Africa’s racial and economic groups, and explore how sustainable the job is for future generations.

The intriguing audio documentary is aptly titled Lipstick Evangelists.  

I can’t embed it, so you’ll have to go listen to it (it’s only 25 minutes) HERE.

Listen to it, and then go make a film on it, before someone else (probably somebody white) does first :)

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