Tu Nokwe Says She Created Sarafina But Never Got A Share Of Its Millions

African folk singer and social activist Tu Nokwe appeared on SABC2 talk-show Ba Kae on Wednesday night. During a retro reflective journey with presenter Tshepo Maseko, the Shaka Zulu star revealed that she created the initial story of Sarafina. 

The ‘Inyakanyaka” singer revealed the news when Tshepo quipped her about claims that she discovered Sarafina star Leleti Khumalo.

Nokwe said that she did not discover the KZN star. 
“It was not a discovery. It was more of a soul connection.  My father and her father knew each other and were good friends. When her father died, she and her siblings were orphaned, she become my father’s child.  
When I created Amajiga, she was more of my daughter and she became part of Amajiga ... and that is what started her in this beautiful career she has now.”
Nokwe said that she conceptualized Sarafina while in boarding school under the tutorship on Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. 

She said Mlambo-Ngcuka, who was a teacher at her school, encouraged her to continue writing and introduced her to Mbongeni Ngema. 

Nokwe nostalgically shared that the character played by Whoopi Goldberg in the film was inspired by Mlambo-Ngcuka and herself, and was amalgamation of her political activism and leadership.

Mlambo-Ngcuka went on to become apolitician. She is the former and first female Deputy President of South Africa.  

Ba Kae presenter then asked her about the money made by Sarafina. 

Nokwe replied that she used to be afraid to talk about not getting any share from the success of Sarafina. She said now she feels free to talk about it because her words are not coming from a place of anger. 

Sarafina has been credited as Mbongeni Ngema’s creation and lauded as South Africa’s most successful stage play. The show has toured the world, ran on Broadway and the movie adaptation starring Whoopi Goldberg grossed over R70 million.  

Leleti Khumalo, who starred in both the movie and the stage play, was nominated for a Tony for her Broadway portrayal of Sarafina in 1988.  

Tu Nokwe’s revelations come at a time when the country is being forced to look into the issue of exploitation of artists in our entertainment industry following the fight between the Generations lead cast and its producers over royalties and salary increase. 

Nokwe also stars in Shaka Zulu, currently airing on SABC on Wednesday evening, which also grossed a staggering R500 Billion but its leading stars and writer made pennies. 

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.