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Tuesday, October 17, 2017


(Nondumiso Tembe)

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.  The film is set to open at cinemas nationwide on February 23, 2018.

The movie features Nondumiso Tembe. Born in Durban, South Africa, multi award-winning actress/singer-songwriter/dancer Tembe is well on her way to becoming one of Africa’s brightest international stars. She was raised in New York City, where her parents were the first black South Africans to study Music at the Juilliard School. Her parents are the well-known arts personalities: Linda Bukhosini, CEO & Artistic Director of The Playhouse Company and Bongani Tembe, CEO & Artistic Director of the KZN Philharmonic.
Tembe holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Acting from the famed Yale School of Drama. She also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre and Political Science with a focus on Africa from New York’s New School University and spent a summer studying Classical Theatre at the British American Dramatic Academy at the illustrious Oxford University in England. Tembe made her TV debut in HBO’s True Blood. She has also starred in Generations, Six and Michael Jackson: Searching for Neverland, and has appeared in America’s number 1 hit TV show NCIS and on ABC’s hit detective drama, Castle. Most recently, she has wowed audiences reviving the Miriam Makeba role in SA’s first ever black musical, King-Kong.

The star-studded cast includes 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.

In Zulu Wedding, 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-it-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,” says Sekeleoane. “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,” she adds.

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.

Wardrobe Designer, Sheli Masondo, pulled wardrobe from some of South Africa’s most prolific Fashion Houses which included Thula Sindi, Sheldon Cooper (Naked Ape), Paledi (Palse), Laduma (MaXhosa) and David Tlale; Art featured in the movie created by award-winning Cape Town artist, painter and illustrator, Loyiso Mkhize; Music from the soundtrack features Maggz (HipHop – SA), Kelly Khumalo (Soul - SA), Joseph Benjamin (R&B – Nigeria,) Goapele (R&B – USA) and many more.

Zulu Wedding Is launching a national youth development initiative with Brand LAIKI & DBE.

Zulu Wedding movie’s release will be preceded by Zulu Wedding the Novel written by Dudu Busani-Dube - author of the Hlomu Series and followed by a Zulu Wedding - The Fairytale Children’s Book Series, written by Makgano Mamabolo and illustrated by Cape Town Artist and Kwezi Comics Founder and illustrator, Loyiso Mkhize. It will be translated into various African languages.

Movie release date: February 23, 2018. The movie is in English.

The Luju Pictures Film was produced in association with Brand Contact, the Department of Trade and Industry (the DTI), The National Film and Video Foundation (The NFVF), The Kwa Zulu Natal Film Commission (KZNFC), The Gauteng Film Commission (GFC) and Tsoga Afrika.