Headlands Center for the Arts

Mmakgosi Anita Tau

Botswana | writing
Artist in Residence Program 2020

Artist Statement

I am inspired to tell stories about women and children as a rebuttal to the gender margins that my patriarchal society has set. I want to use film to amplify the voices of the vulnerable and marginalized people subjected to deep suffering in southern Africa. My films speak for the underrepresented women with minimal chances of escaping poverty. I hope to create more films that will open up conversations about the inhumane strongholds of an unkind traditionalist system that still hinders the success of a 21st Ccentury Motswana woman.

I am also deeply interested in mental health awareness and activism. I created and direct Mmakgosi Live, Botswana which sensitizes people about mental health issues using spoken word poetry, fine art, film, dance, and theatre. It brings various artists together to educate people and change the African mental health narrative by curbing stigma around mental illnesses.

While at Headlands

While at Headlands I am going to work on my first feature film script about the most iconic female ruler to ever live in southern Africa. History has emphasized the ruthless side of her regime, yet her quest to build a solid foundation of women’s resistance against patriarchy in southern Africa has gone unrecognized. The southern African woman is still struggling with proving herself as an equal gender. She is still the least educated, relegated to low income jobs, and vulnerable to child marriages and human rights violations in a predominantly patriarchal society. I am eager to build her world, honor her womanity, and work out her legacy in a bid to redefine feminist thought to make sense to my culture. 

Selected Works


Section 82, trailer; 2019; with Cinescent Films


2019 Showreel, with Benjamin Sediba