In what seemed to be a real-life drama reminiscent of the Heartlines film Beyond the River, canoeists Siseko Ntondini and Piers Cruickshanks went neck-to-neck at the TRAC Lowveld Croc Canoe Marathon on Saturday.
The film is based on the real life story about the two canoeists played by actors Lemogang Tsipa (Siseko) and Grant Swanby (Piers) who form a formidable bond, overcoming racial, cultural and physical differences to win a gold medal in the doubles race of the 2014 Dusi Canoe Marathon.
In the film, Siseko’s character, Duma, makes Piers' character, Steve, question his own priorities. The two form an unlikely team with Duma, a novice, driving Steve, whose judgment is clouded by fear that Siseko will hold him back because of his youth and lack of experience. After both going through some tough times, including a stress fracture for Duma (which actually happened to Siseko in real life), Duma spurs them on to victory.
At the TRAC Lowveld Croc Canoe Marathon on Saturday, Siseko emerged the winner of the race with Piers coming in a close second. Again, Siseko was coming back from an injury, this time a fractured skull and facial bones after a mugging in February this year which cost him his wallet and phone, but fortunately not his canoeing career. As back in 2013-2014, Siseko's club-mates from SCARC (Soweto Canoe Club) and Dabulamanzi (Emmarentia Dam) rallied to help him get the surgery he needed.
Beyond the River is a film created by Heartlines as part of the What’s Your Story? campaign which encourages South Africans from diverse backgrounds to break barriers and use story sharing as a tool to build bridges for healing and reconciliation.
The film has won multiple awards and has been screened in homes, churches, workplaces and schools and has emerged as a favourite for many. If you want some great entertainment, catch Beyond the River on Showmax, and watch the Behind the Scenes documentary on our YouTube channel here