Madiba’s long walk to South African TV

CityPress - - News -

Vet­eran ac­tor Hlomla Dan­dala has chal­lenged the South African movie in­dus­try and in­vestors to tell South African sto­ries us­ing lo­cal tal­ent, with­out look­ing to Hol­ly­wood to tell them. Dan­dala por­trays strug­gle stal­wart Go­van Mbeki in the newly un­veiled tele­vi­sion minis­eries, Madiba, on the late for­mer pres­i­dent Nel­son Man­dela’s life.

Man­dela is played by dif­fer­ent ac­tors in the se­ries, but the bet­ter part is played by US ac­tor Lau­rence Fish­burne, while ANC stal­wart Oliver Tambo is played by Or­lando Jones and Wal­ter Sisulu by David Hare­wood.

“Madiba is an Amer­i­can se­ries and they are telling a story of a per­son we have known since we were young.

“The in­dict­ment is ac­tu­ally on us. Why haven’t we told the Madiba story?” Dan­dala asked.

“You can’t blame Amer­ica for telling a story they chose to tell, or for see­ing our great­ness when we didn’t see our own great­ness in Tambo’s story, Sisulu’s story, or that of Steve [Biko] or any of our other he­roes.” . Danny Glover in Man­dela (1987) . Sir Sid­ney Poitier in Man­dela and De Klerk (1997) . Den­nis Hays­bert in Good­bye Bafana (2007)

. Mor­gan Free­man in In­vic­tus (2009) . Idris Elba in Man­dela: Long Walk to Free­dom (2013) He said it was not the US’s fault that it boosts its in­dus­try by telling the sto­ries of in­ter­na­tional he­roes.

“The fact that the story is about us, and we haven’t told it, says a lot about us, not them.” Dan­dala was re­spond­ing to ques­tions thrown at a panel at the launch of Madiba on Wed­nes­day. The panel in­cluded Terry Pheto, who plays po­lit­i­cal ac­tivist Win­nie Madik­ize­laMan­dela in the se­ries.

Di­rected by Kevin Hooks, Madiba is a six-part minis­eries that ex­plores the fight for free­dom against the apartheid gov­ern­ment, which Man­dela cham­pi­oned and fought for decades.

The show was made for Black En­ter­tain­ment Tele­vi­sion (BET) in the US, and pre­miered in New York in Jan­uary this year. TALK


What are some of South Africa’s sto­ries that you think de­serve to be told? SMS us on 35697 us­ing the key­word MADIBA and tell us what you think. Please in­clude your name and prov­ince. SMSes cost R1.50

On Wed­nes­day, the se­ries was screened at the Liliesleaf Her­itage Site in Rivo­nia, ahead of its pre­mier on South African tele­vi­sion to­mor­row.

Hooks’ long tele­vi­sion ca­reer in­cluded work­ing on Prison Break, Agents of SHIELD, and Cas­tle.

More than just a po­lit­i­cal leader, Madiba also looks into the in­tri­ca­cies of Man­dela’s per­sonal life and the in­ter­nal strug­gles he faced on his quest to free the na­tion.

The se­ries starts when Man­dela is elected as the first demo­cratic pres­i­dent of South Africa, af­ter all races voted to­gether for the first time.

Man­dela then walks into his of­fice in Mahlamba Nd­lopfu in Pre­to­ria, closely fol­lowed by a group of mes­merised jour­nal­ists and pho­tog­ra­phers. Man­dela asks for time to be alone be­fore star­ing out of a win­dow. He re­calls his child­hood when his fa­ther, played by Steven Mo­fo­keng, was in his death bed in ru­ral East­ern Cape.

The screen­ing was well re­ceived, with the au­di­ence clap­ping and nod­ding at par­tic­u­larly good scenes. By the end, it seemed peo­ple were not pre­pared to leave just yet and the au­di­ence was left want­ing more.

Man­dela has pre­vi­ously been por­trayed on the big screen by Mor­gan Free­man in In­vic­tus and Idris Elba in Man­dela: Long Walk to Free­dom.

. Madiba pre­miers to­mor­row on Dis­cov­ery,

DStv chan­nel 121 at 9pm

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