Zulu Wedding is the much anticipated romantic-comedy from producer/director Lineo Sekeleoane. It’s a first for South Africa to have a black female producer and director, who also created the concept for the film. Unashamedly romantic, glamorous and hilarious all at the same time, the film pays loving tribute to the richness of African culture. It acknowledges the, sometimes schizophrenic, reality of many urban South Africans who live sophisticated modern lives which are nonetheless shaped by their family cultures, traditions and expectations.
Feisty choreographer, Lou “Lungile’ (Nondumiso Tembe), will do anything to avoid falling in love. Even more to avoid going home to South Africa, where she’s traditionally engaged to a king. However, when she meets her soulmate TEX (Darrin Dewitt Henson) she is forced to confront the tradition she’s been running away from since the death of her parents, when she turned 18, and the ancestral debt they left her. She hatches a plan to confront the King and convince him to forget about her, but when she prevails upon handsome royal advisor Zulu (Pallance Dladla), to help her get into the Royal Compound, he proves to be a dangerously seductive charmer, one who seems to represent all the best aspects of her background.
Tex, his wise-cracking best friend Nate (Carl Payne), Lou’s eccentric traffic officer sister Mabo (Makgano Mambolo), and her tell-it-like-is alcoholic best friend Sam (Bubu Mazibuko), set off to “the rurals’ to rescue her while the shifty Uncle Phineas (Jerry Phele), his sexy wife Yvonne (Kelly Khumalo) and “The Basotho 10,'(lead by TKZee Family’s Gwyza) stay behind. The stage is set for hilarity, hi-jinks and heartbreak.
According to Sekeleoane, the film was 10 years in the making. “The idea started in the emergency room of a hospital as I formulated a joke scenario for an actress friend of mine. She liked the scenario and the character, an insane traffic cop by the name of Mabo who never takes off her uniform. As I started to shape that character’s world, the focus of the narrative shifted to her sister, Lou, and Zulu Wedding was born,” she explains. “MABO remains an important character though, and is brilliantly brought to life by Makgano Mamabolo. The entire cast was amazing. After doing castings in New York, Los Angeles and Johannesburg and seeing hundreds of people over several years, I can truly say that we were blessed. Every person brought something special to the project,” says Sekeleoane.
With an effervescent screenplay by Julie Hall and stunning cinematography by award-winning Lance Gewer of Tsotsi fame, Zulu Wedding promises a lush, playful, escapist experience which should appeal to fans of films like Happiness is a Four-Letter Word and My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
The star-studded cast includes Nondumiso Tembe (True Blood, King Kong The Musical); Darrin Dewitt-Henson (Soul Food, Lincoln Heights, Stomp The Yard); Pallance Dladla (Tempy Pushas, Isibaya, Hard To Get); the hilarious Carl Payne (Martin, The Cosby Show); Bubu Mazibuko; Kelly Khumalo; Lorcia Cooper, S’thandiwe Kgoroge; Treasure Tshabalala; Kole Omotoso and Makgano Mamabolo with cameo appearances from DJ Tira, Carolyn Steyn and many of South Africa’s best-loved celebrities.
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