Black Mambas (2022) Movie Script

If you have a dog as a pet
and you don't feed it,
the moment someone else
gives it food, you'll no longer own it.
If someone with money shows up
while you're starving
and tells you there's money
for poaching over there, you'll go.
She puts on a ring, but that
ring wasn't bought by her man.
He says, "I love you, but you're
wearing a ring that I did not buy."
But he said, "You cannot
just buy yourself a ring."
I think a ring is a nice thing,
but the man should buy it for you.
- Yes, he has to put it on your finger.
- Who is she trying to impress?
We sure can talk!
- A seven-kilometer patrol is a lot.
- A seven-kilometer patrol is too much.
When we chat
time flies by quickly.
- There is a hole! An animal did that.
- Yes, it was an animal.
You can see the fur.
You see?
We've fixed it. There you go.
But it's a small one.
- I hope it doesn't give us trouble.
- It looks like a little one.
It could come up
here if it sees us.
But it's still there.
It's not moving.
- It's just being disrespectful.
- It's a teenager. They behave like this.
Maybe it has started mating.
Let's go.
You and I always have bad luck.
We always come across elephants.
I learned about the Black
Mambas through the internet.
I searched for independent women
and what they can do for a living.
These women looked
so strong to me,
wearing the uniforms,
protecting animals
and doing a job
only men normally do.
Can you please come
and put out the fire, Naledi?
- I need some water.
- Take the water.
My mom showed
me how important it is
for women to earn
their own money.
My mum works at the mine, like most
people in my hometown of Phalaborwa.
But I don't want
to be like them.
I want to go my own way.
When I told my family that I
got a job as a Black Mamba
they really were
not happy about it.
They were afraid for my safety.
We walk seven kilometers
early in the morning.
We come across
elephants and other animals.
We go around the entire reserve
and keep a lookout for any
signs of poachers breaking in.
When you see light you report
it, a cut in the fence, you report it.
If we see tracks that
don't belong to us,
we report it.
So what would you do if you
came across rhino poachers?
We've been trained to ensure
we see them before they see us.
That is why we always look
out for any suspicious signs
and we report them.
But I've never faced
rhino poachers.
I have not seen you in a while.
You know I don't have time.
You're ruining our friendship.
You're never around.
But at least we talk, my friend.
Talking and seeing each
other are two different things.
I understand.
Yes, let's grab an ice
cream or a sundae.
And then we can bond.
Is that Thatho?
I'm not sure.
Since when can
Kevin play soccer?
He's just a hijacker.
I feel sorry for the
bushmeat poachers.
They used to work,
but they've lost their jobs
and are now into bad things.
They get into the
reserve to kill for food
so that they can
give it to their children.
It hurts that they can't
take care of their children.
They take care of them by stealing
from the reserve and that is wrong.
There is nothing we can do.
Covid-19 has really disrupted things.
People have lost
everything, they're suffering
and they have no food at home.
This is where they
made their food last night.
It seems like an elephant
was hiding here. Can you see?
Let's go over there.
- Should we have a look?
- Yes, let's have a look.
There are elephant
tracks everywhere.
I've got a snare! Here.
Look at where they've put the
snare. We usually don't check here.
Okay, remove that snare so
that we can leave this area.
Yes, let's go.
Had the elephant touched this,
its leg would have been caught.
So, if its leg got caught,
what would have happened?
If its leg got caught,
it would try to move.
But the snare's strong. The
elephant wouldn't be able to free itself.
Or it would try to pull down
the tree that the snare is tied to.
If the tree fell, it'd still
move around with this thing.
The elephant would be
aggressive because it'd be in pain.
It would be very dangerous.
There would be chaos.
As a Mamba, I've been working
in the wild for almost seven years,
but I was not trained
to be a tour guide.
That's my dream.
I cannot afford
the guide course.
With the money I earn I
need to support my family.
My father passed away
when I was very young.
So now, because I
work as a Black Mamba,
I took on my father's role
and became the role
model in the family.
As a child I did not know
anything at all about animals.
We were only told
that they are dangerous,
that they kill.
We received false information,
but there was
nothing we could do.
So, I grew up being
afraid of animals
because they are deadly.
I never thought that one day I
would work amongst animals
that are considered deadly.
Slow down.
What is this?
These are wild dogs.
They make sounds like...
- They move at night.
- Look at this!
What is this?
- Is it a frog?
- Mm-hmm.
I wish I could spend
more time with my children,
but as a Black Mamba
every month I'm gone for work
for 21 days at a time.
What is this?
- It's food.
- No way!
This is not edible!
This here?
It cannot be eaten.
I don't have a choice.
I need this job.
My boyfriend is unemployed,
like most people in our community.
I'm sorry, I just wanted
to grab something to eat.
HESC hired Black
Mambas for security reasons,
to protect animals
that are kept here.
We are going to
enter here at Esme's.
- You mean Esme?
- Yes. Esme is over there.
- Where is she?
- She is over there!
Oh, yes! There she
is! She's moving.
She just might come after us.
We fight with the white people
because they use our things.
Because we can say this:
everything in Africa
belongs to us black people.
The people who founded those parks
weren't thinking about black people.
They protect rhinos and elephants,
but they don't care if we eat or not.
They are only concerned with
preventing me from killing the animals,
while I'm not preventing
them from hunting them.
It is frustrating.
I've worked here for seven years
and don't know much about the bush.
It hurts to be in the wild and not to
know what type of tree you're looking at.
If I want to be a tour guide,
I have to know all these things.
Kruger National Park is
very near our community,
but the community
must benefit more.
Even if they have vacancies,
they often give them to
people from outside instead.
If more people had jobs here
the number of poaching
incidents would go down.
Are they visible there?
Sammy, go away! Sammy, stop!
No, Sammy!
Come on!
He's messing up the tracks. I
need to take pictures and send them.
Sammy wasn't supposed to
be here. He has no use here.
It's nothing. I'm not doing much
there. It is not what I aim for.
I still want to achieve more.
My life doesn't end there.
Pity I don't have the funds to send you
back to school. This job doesn't suit you.
I want you to be something in
life. You shouldn't work as a ranger.
You have a future. You're still
young and don't even have a child.
You can still make it in life.
You know we don't
search white people, right?
They don't get searched,
we just write them down.
That dog is troublesome
when it's hungry. That dog.
That's why he had the dog's womb removed.
It cost 1,500 rand to get rid of it.
- All for a dog, you guys!
- They think of them as children.
- He sees them as people.
- Yes!
They're afraid to have
children and keep dogs.
It will never turn
into a person!
To them they're like children.
That's the sound of frogs.
Bull frogs.
We're working nonstop!
- They really should change the strategy.
- Ever seen a person work this way?
21 day without a day off?
We could work a double shift one
week and have the weekend off.
- Still not fair.
- Not fair enough.
At least working seven days.
Seven days day shift, seven
days night shift, seven days off.
Not working 21 days nonstop.
That's three weeks, gone.
I'm tired of fighting.
I came here to
work, so let's work.
Face wash and Ponds
moisturizer. That's all I want.
- Do you know what I lack?
- What?
- I lack competency with numbers.
- Yes, numbers.
As long as you answer confidently
when making your announcement.
They usually don't assume
you've answered wrong.
- If I say Delta... Delta one...
- They'll see you're lying.
I'm telling you.
This grass is so tall. Would
you spot a lion if it were here?
We should have a gun with us.
- Imagine it, walking here without a gun.
- We are walking around empty-handed.
- Am I looking at an elephant or what?
- Elephants.
She saw it.
- Do we wait for them to pass or what?
- Let's give them space and see.
- I don't see them anymore.
- They went over there. Next to the tree.
- It has a calf, damn it!
- Yes, it's not alone.
She's going to lose it.
Guys, where are we?
- Alpha... Bravo...
- Bravo. Bravo something.
Let's report them.
She copies when I call, but not
when I talk. Let me go over there.
- Where are the elephants?
- What?
- Where are the elephants?
- I'm searching for a network.
- I won't get too close.
- There is no network over there.
Sister Lerato should
send her a text.
We are leaving.
I was back there.
Look! It's the one with a calf.
This job is not what
I expected it to be.
I just walk back and forth
along the fence every day.
I miss my family and my friends,
and I can't see the
value in the job I'm doing.
I want to achieve more.
Come here. What are you eating?
- I'm eating meat.
- Eating meat?
Did you miss me?
Where is the baby?
Where is the nanny?
Oh, my little one!
You can't see your mommy?
You can't see your mommy?
You don't remember me?
Here is mommy. Do you see mommy?
She is changing on me.
- Where is my father?
- Your father?
- Yes.
- He's at home. Where you stay.
He's at your home.
Mommy? Where did you go?
Yes, I went to
work, I just got back.
I want to come with you.
Yes, I'll take you
with me... All right?
Okay, that won't be a
problem. Let me call him.
Hey, are you now relaxed?
It is so hot, so
what do you say?
Will we survive though?
Don't you want to drink today?
All right then. Let's have
a couple of beers later.
I didn't plan on getting
pregnant a second time.
So fast. It created
many problems for me.
Some of the Mambas
said, ''She's got another baby
while the other
one is still small.
How will she manage with her
boyfriend being unemployed?"
You want to drink
with Mbuqa-Mbuqa?
He does not drink alcohol, but I
will call Valecia and uncle Power.
- How much do you have there?
- 150 rand.
That means that I won't have
money to buy cigarettes tomorrow.
But you will make a plan.
How many bottles should I buy?
You actually need to go
and buy those things yourself.
Okay, that's not a problem.
I had to accept my situation
so that I could get paid
and can take care
of my children.
Even if I sometimes can't
do everything for them,
I by all means try
to do what I can
so that they'll
remember me one day.
As a mother who was
able to take care of them
when they were still young.
Hurry up!
I was fortunate enough to
be chosen to go to school.
To further my career.
It is what I've always
wanted, to become a guide.
It's what I've always
spoken about, day and night.
I was fortunate enough to get
this opportunity, to go and learn.
I'm leaving on Wednesday the tenth.
So I'm not here because I'm off work.
I'm here to tell you
I've got this chance.
I'm going to improve
my work situation.
From the level I am
at to the next level.
Even if my contract ends,
I'll still be able to apply for
something else and move forward.
Go, my child, and get educated,
but I have a lot of questions.
If my child goes to school,
when the month ends
who will buy me maize meal?
Are you still going to earn money
or not when you go to school?
That's what I asked.
But I did not get a response.
They'll cut money because I'll no
longer drive, be a sergeant or do media.
When you return will
your salary go up or not?
I don't know, I don't
have those details.
- So the only benefit is the qualification?
- And a certificate!
It'll help because if the contract
ends I can still work as a guide.
Both of my brothers
have never worked before.
So when I started
working, it was hard.
Even now I'm not able to
enjoy the salary that I earn.
I have sacrificed a lot of things
for my mother and siblings.
It's a huge burden. Most
of my wishes are on hold.
Right now, I need to give
my brother a registration fee
and I need to take a loan so
he can continue with his studies.
If not, I'd fail him because his
dream is to complete his studies.
I need to look for a loan so that
I'm able to pay his tuition fees.
So I am the only one who is
providing and it's very hard on me.
That's it. I'll have
to go back to school.
Like, even if I stay
here in Phalaborwa,
you know here most people are
focused on the mines and shops.
- We work in Kruger. If not, what do we do?
- Or at the clinic.
There are a lot of things
that we can do otherwise.
We just don't think we can. It's
influenced by this place, as you see.
It's just a village
and is still developing.
Yes, and we all picture
ourselves at the mines.
Our parents work at the mines,
and so we tell ourselves we
want to work at the mines too.
It's boring.
You white people don't love
animals more than we do.
God gave them to us
knowing that we can coexist.
White people claim that they
love animals. They love money!
That's where things go
wrong. A lot of things get ruined.
The white people only care
about our things and not us.
They should understand
that we are part of this world.
Like the animals that they
love, they should also love us.
- It's a doll.
- It's not a doll. What's his name again?
- Him?
- Yes, I told you it is Paul Kruger.
- Who?
- Tall Kruger.
It's Paul Kruger.
Kool Kruger!
- It's whites.
- Yeah, all whites.
- What's this?
- Impalas.
Look over there. Do you see it?
- It's a donkey!
- It's not a donkey, it's a zebra!