A first visit to South Africa seems to invite observation of the extremes or of folklore in society, but Tan Chui Mui initially chose a very different road. She intended to make a short science fiction film and not to focus on the occasionally grim reality of today's South Africa.
With the help of local film makers, she set off in Durban looking for suitable locations and four actors who wanted to work on her film (preferably for free). With the locations, she also found her story. She used the futuristic architecture of the football stadium being built - designed by the German bureau GMP Architects - not only as background for her film No Woman Born, but she also turned the anonymous labourers into characters in her film. Tan discovered the talents of the Zulu actor and singer Muzi Mhlanga, who developed during the shooting into a very special man of the future.
Her contacts with the young local film makers of Durban inspired Tan to make a second short film, the documentary Sarah and Omelga. Coming from Malaysia with its extreme racial divisions, she was curious about the views of her South African colleagues on the new racial 'equality' in their country. She looked up the white film maker Sarah Dawson and the black film maker Omelga Mthiyane in their own surroundings and listened to their stories.