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Namibian Premiere: “Sobukwe - A Great Soul", SAT 27 October 2012, 8 p.m., Goethe-Centre, Windhoek. Special Guest: Gcina Mhlophe

On Saturday, 27 October 2012 at 8 pm AfricAvenir invites to the Namibian Premiere of the South African drama-documentary „Sobukwe – A Great Soul“ (South Africa, 2011, English and Zulu with English subtitles, 104 min) by Mickey Madoda Dube. The film stands as a monument to a great man, a global visionary, teacher, political leader, philosopher and humanist who was well ahead of his time, declaring his commitment to a “non-racial” society in a racist world, asserting that “there is only one race, the human race.” With South African freedom fighter, activist, actor, storyteller, poet, playwright, director and author Gcina Mhlophe as a special discussion guest. Goethe-Centre Windhoek, Entrance: 30,- N$.

Synopsis
The story of the life of a remarkable man who helped to inspire and liberate a nation will be seen for the first time in Namibia. The film "Sobukwe – a Great Soul", directed by Mickey Madoda Dube, celebrates the life of Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, restoring him to his rightful place as a leading figure in South African history.

“Sobukwe – A Great Soul”, featuring Luthuli Dlamini (Scandal!, The Coconuts, Isidingo, Generations, Drum) in the title role, communicates many of the qualities that Sobukwe embodied, demonstrating the integrity, courage, honesty, humanity and true leadership for which he was known, and which continue to have resonance today.

The film is a feature length drama-documentary which charts the course of a leader who has been all but forgotten in the anals of history. The documentary, commissioned by SABC’s Kamscilla Naidoo as part of their Icons series on South African leaders, explores Sobukwe’s life and provides a platform for his voice to be heard decades after he made his mark, putting his name back on the world map of great liberators. 

In spite of his pivotal role in the struggle for liberation, there is not a single piece of archive, not a single surviving audio recording of a man who was once one of the most watched, most recorded, most popular political prisoners in the world in his time. Even the current South African government has failed to recognise his place in history, and the relevance of his message today. This film seeks to fill that gap. It stands as a monument to a great man, a global visionary, teacher, political leader, philosopher and humanist who was well ahead of his time, declaring his commitment to a “non-racial” society in a racist world, asserting that “there is only one race, the human race.” 

Sobukwe’s was a life of firsts, as the film highlights. His decisive action on 21 March, 1960 resulted in the historic day now known as “Sharpeville Day”, and lit the first fire that eventually led to the final demise of apartheid. Sobukwe’s actions paved the way for Steve Biko, and guided him to another historic moment on 16 June, 1976. He gave Pan Africanism new life, refining the ethos, taking it to the street and making it a common feature of the struggle in South Africa, laying the ground for the path to Black Consciousness. 

Ultimately, the film succeeds to emphasise the loss of a great soul to humanity in Sobukwe. It finally breaks the mystifying silence that has surrounded Sobukwe’s extraordinary conribution, not only to reshaping South Africa, but also shaping the thinking of many across the African continent and the diaspora. 

About the director
Mickey Madoda Dube is an international award winning Film, TV and Commercials  Director. After fifteen years of theatre he moved into film and TV, studying at one of the top film schools in the world, the USC School of Film/TV in LA through a Fulbright. Currently he is a Director/Producer of 1TakeMedia. His filmography spans both the social and the political. His first film, Imbazo, about state-sponsored violence in SA, won countless awards globally. One of Mickey’s proud works is a documentary for UNICEF called Through The Eyes Of The Child. It looked at the plight of SA children at the turn of the century. Mickey co-created and co-conceptualized the Pan African reality series, Imagine Afrika (part of the ‘You’ campaign), which aimed to inspire young Africans to become change agents in their communities. Mickey has also written and directed a number of television drama series, notably, the controversial Umthunzi Wentaba (Mountain Shadow), which explored the death of boys in SA circumcision schools. The show led to the establishment of certain laws and procedures to prevent these deaths.

About the special guest
Nokugcina Elsie Mhlophe (born 1959) is a well-known South African freedom fighter, activist, actor, storyteller, poet, playwright, director and author.
She does her most important work through charismatic performances, working to preserve storytelling as a means of keeping history alive and encouraging South African children to read. She tells her stories in four of South Africa's languages: English, Afrikaans, Zulu and Xhosa.

While she appeared not only in theatre, but in TV and Cinema as well, her most influental work are her charismatic performances, preserving storytelling as a means of keeping history alive and encouraging African children to read.
Gcina Mhlope is also a founding member of the ‘Gcinamasiko Arts and Heritate Trust’, which is committed to enhancing a culture of reading, providing writing and story-creation opportunities and promoting African writers and the heritage of story-telling. In 2011, the South African Minister of Arts and Culture, Mr Paul Mashatile appointed her to the Council of the National Film and Video Foundation

The film series African Perspectives is supported by the Franco Namibian Cultural Centre, WhatsOnWindhoek, and the Goethe-Centre Windhoek.

Date: Sat. 27. October
Time: 20h00! (Attention: Time Change!)
Entrance: 30,- N$
Venue: Goethe-Centre, Auditorium
SPECIAL GUEST: Gcina Mhlophe
(Council member of the NFVF, National Film and Video Foundation, South Africa)

© Copyright AfricAvenir 2012

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