The film tops the story off with a charming ending and lovely score featuring the perfect mix of local and international music.
After a decade-long effort to get the film made and the postponement of its original February 2018 release date, romantic comedy Zulu Wedding will finally hit cinemas today.
With Lineo Sekeleoane at the helm, Zulu Wedding is reportedly the first film to have a black female producer and director on a project of this scale.
Described by the production team as unashamedly romantic, glamorous and hilarious, all at the same time, the film pays loving tribute to the richness of African culture while acknowledging the sometimes schizophrenic reality of many urban South Africans, who live sophisticated lives which are still shaped by their family cultures, traditions and expectations.
Zulu Wedding follows the adventures of a feisty half-Sotho, half-Zulu choreographer named Lungile (played by Nondumiso Tembe), who will do anything to avoid falling in love while pursuing her love of dance in New York.
Zulu Wedding. Picture: Supplied
She will do even more to avoid coming back home to South Africa – the country she ran away from to escape her traditional engagement to a king she had never met, due to the actions of her parents, who left her in ancestral debt long before she was even conceived.
Lu ends up meeting her soulmate in the form of Tex (Darrin Dewitt Henson of Stomp The Yard) and when he decides he wants a life with her, he flies her shifty Uncle Phineas (Jerry Phele) to New York, unbeknownst to her. Phineas reminds her of her ancestral debt and demands she return home to fulfil her destiny.
Lu then hatches a plan to confront the king in an effort to convince him to forget about her. That is how she meets the king’s handsome and seductive royal advisor Zulu (played by Pallance Dladla) and enlists him to help her get into the royal compound.
All this is punctuated by the comic stylings of Tex’s wise-cracking best friend Nate (Carl Payne), Lu’s eccentric sister Mabo (Makgano Mamabolo) and her alcoholic best friend Sam (Bubu Mazibuko).
“While we were extremely excited about the February release date, several new ideas started to take shape and we needed time to mobilise the right people to launch these initiatives. As such, we had no choice but to move the release date,” said Sekeleoane in a statement in 2018.
Bubu Mazibuko, Nondumiso Tembe and Lorcia Cooper from Zulu Wedding. Picture: Supplied
One of those initiatives was a continent-wide screening in Africa. The other was an initiative aimed at reviving the movie-going culture that was so popular in the townships during the 1980s.
The film gets off to a cringeworthy start, surpassed only by an awkward scene with a rapid result HIV home-testing kit. It does, however, pick up and settle into a nice flow once Dladla makes his appearance.
Zulu Wedding redeems itself by putting SA designers such as Thula Sindi, Palse by Paledi Segapo, Maxhosa by Laduma and David Tlale front and centre, in addition to topping the story off with a charming ending and lovely score featuring the perfect mix of local and international music.
Cast: Nondumiso Tembe, Darrin Dewitt Henson, Carl Anthony Payne II
Director: Lineo Sekeleoane
For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.