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Zim artists launch film about life of migrants

by Kunene Thabo
28 Oct 2013 at 04:42hrs | Views
Mothusi Ndlovu, writer of the film, Chronicles of Madlela. Poster of the film

JOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwean and South African artists have released a 90 minute feature film about the lifestyles of migrant workers who abandon their families for greener pastures in Africa's biggest economy.

The film will be launched in Johannesburg's Othandweni Centre in Hillbrow on November 2.The launch is expected to attract a large audience of mostly Zimbabweans from Matabeleland region who are the majority residents of Hillbrow.

The film titled "Chronicles of Madlela" tells the story of some migrant workers from kwaBulawayo, Zimbabwe's second largest city who arrive in the city of gold looking for greener pastures but end up forgetting their families back home.

In kwaBulawayo the Ndebele people say "sedliwe yigoli" meaning the migrant worker has been swallowed by life in Johannesburg.

The film is produced under the Shilolo Entertainment stable and written by prominent musician and playwright, Muthusi Bashimane Ndlovu and directed by South African Elvis Phiri.Shilolo Productions has also produced music videos of South African and Zimbabwean Ndebele and Kalanga musicians.

According to Ndlovu, the film is the first to be produced under the Sikhobokhobo episodes and centred on the adventures and mischief of a character called Philemon "Mfile" Madlela in Johannesburg.

" The idea is to share the life and experiences of Zimbabwean economic migrants especially us from KwaBulawayo who have suffered before and after independence in Zimbabwe," said Ndlovu.He says the producers could have used tragedy or drama to potray the struggles of the people of Matabeleland in Zimbabwe but they chose to tell their story through comedy.

" Life is not always about hardships and disasters but there is also lighter side which is what we want to tell in this film.The film was shot on location in Hillbrow which is home to thousands of Zimbabweans from kwaBulawayo.

Some believe Zimbabweans are the majority residents of Hillbrow.In the film, Madlela, who is in his late 30s, arrives in the city of gold unannounced all the way from his village in Nkayi, a remote area in northern Matabeleland, Zimbabwe.

The new arrival Madlela wants a high paying office job when he is not even educated and refuses to go and look for a job.He is lazy but he comes up with a plan to make money by becoming a prophet overnight and charges desperate clients for his services.

This explains why there are dozens of prophets from Zimbabwe operating in Johannesburg most of them with bogus credentials. Ndlovu has also released his video titled xenophobia. The music video potrays the harsh realities of the life of a foreigner seeking greener pastures in South Africa.

In the video the singer asks why brother has turned against brother.While at home some of them witnessed victims of government abuse being buried alive, on arrival in South Africam they saw fellow countrymen being burnt alive in the streets of Alexander township.

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Source - Kunene Thabo