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Film by UCOP staff member premiers on PBS

Imagine that you were named principal of a school, only to find out that the “school” was just an empty field with 60 children sitting on the ground? What would you do? For Nomusa Zikhali, a resident of rural South Africa, the answer was obvious: She built a school.

A story of triumph

The inspiring documentary film, “Under Four Trees,” captures the true story of Zikhali’s journey to create Nkomo Primary School, which became a place of refuge to nurture and educate local children as they struggled to overcome hunger, disease and the loss of their families. Filmmaker Suzanne Cross is a longtime consultant at UCOP.

Cross first learned of Nkomo Primary School when she visited Africa on a vacation and felt compelled to help the struggling community. Since then, she has continued her fervent support, which culminated in the production of “Under Four Trees” in 2017. The film’s release was celebrated at UCOP with a screening and conversation with the story’s heroine.

A 30-minute version of “Under Four Trees” has been accepted by the National Educational Telecommunications Association for royalty-free release. For three years, it will be available to 350 public television stations throughout the United States.

Watch “Under Four Trees”

This summer, all UCOP staff, friends and members of the general public can enjoy this story free of charge on PBS. Its first showing is on Bay Area public television station KQED Plus on Friday, June 28, at 10 a.m. Additional stations across the U.S. will also show the film in June.

Watch the trailer of “Under Four Trees,” a video of the film’s backstory and download a promotional poster.

Questions? Contact Suzanne Cross

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Comments ( 4 )

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  1. Gemma Rieser May 28, 2019 Reply

    Congratulations Suzanne! Such an amazing accomplishment, I’m so happy for you.

  2. Lena Zentall May 28, 2019 Reply

    I look forward to watching Four Trees. Congratulations, Suzanne!

  3. Kimyatta Dorsey May 29, 2019 Reply

    Way to go, Suzanne! I look forward to watching Under Four Trees when it airs.

  4. Linnea Dischinger May 29, 2019 Reply

    This is fantastic Suzanne! After reading this article and watching the trailer, I can’t wait to watch Under Four Trees on June 28th (my recorder is set)!

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