Local movie hits the TV screens

Actors while filming Molamu in Qwaqwa: Thapelo Merabe, who plays Gopolang, and Nomsa Dhlamini who plays Mosongoa. PHOTO: Kgotso Sehlabo

This past weekend, a locally produced film, Molamu, aired on one of South Africa’s popular channels, Mzanzi Magic 161.

According to the general manger of Careers Magazine, who is also the producer of the film, Nkokheli Lindazwe, the film was shot in suburban Bloemfontein and rural Qwaqwa. “The idea behind these locations is to emphasise the importance of home. We now mostly live in cities but for most of us home is far away and the journey back to our roots is symbolic of so many things,” he said.

Lindazwe told Bloemfontein Courant that the title of the film refers to a fighting stick popular among Basotho men, young and old. “Many people tend to associate it with violence. But there’s more to it. Knowing how to stick-fight is a badge of honour, manhood and self-protection. These are the lenses we are portraying it through. Again, because of the problem of underrepresentation of the Basotho, a lot of people think it’s only Zulu or Xhosa men who stick-fight. This film also aims to show that Basotho men do it too,” he said.

Lindazwe explained that the film originates from two important realities. The first one is that there is a concerning under-representation of Free State content on national television. “The few productions we have, are usually not in touch with our cultural and lived realities as they are done by outsiders. So, this film is an act of defiance to show the world that we too can create. We have the talent, the creativity and the story. Secondly, the film is inspired by the Basotho heritage,” he added. “It’s very rich in cultural nuances, indigenous knowledge systems and identity.”

Nomsa Dhlamini, who is a born and bred resident of Bloemfontein and plays Mosongoa in the film, is a passionate actress who has been in the industry for about nine years and made her debut as an actress in film this year. According to Dhlamini, the character she plays in the film resonates well with her as she is also a very passionate person who is goal-driven and always pushes to achieve whatever she sets her mind on. “I believe that this is one thing I can link to myself.”

Kani Pitso, who makes her film debut as Tay in the film, is also originally from Bloemfontein and matriculated at Hoër Meisieskool Oranje. She told Bloemfontein Courant her character is the antagonist in the film. She resonates with her character mostly in the way she was able to recognise her mistakes and apologise for them. “We all make mistakes and if you do make one, the best thing you can do is to go back to the person you have wronged and apologise. This is something both my character and I are able to do well.”

The Free State Premier, Sisi Ntombela, shared her sentiments about the film on her social media page: “I am proud of these young people from the Free State for this great achievement of shooting a movie which reflects the beauty of this province. For many years now we’ve been seeing content about other provinces. It is now time for us to showcase our art as Basotho,” she said.

Producer Lindazwe concluded by saying, “We want the film to serve as a billboard of what is possible in the Free State. We hope that it will kill the existing biases that Free State artists suffer. Most importantly, we believe that it will be an inspiration to others that dreams have no expiry date.”

Justine Fortuin