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2 Feb

#BTS: A Soweto Love Story

Mark your calendars, you have a date on the 14th of February and Netflix comes bearing gifts, with the upcoming film A Soweto Love Story.

A Soweto Love Story sees a mother, Bongekile (played by Duduzile Ngcobo) challenge her sons to settle down and start their own families, whoever gets it done first will be crowned the sole heir to their family home.

Nounouche had the opportunity to chat the leading  cast members at the official media junket:

How did you prepare for your character?
Sihle Ndaba: I have always loved comedy and I consume a lot of sit-coms, so it wasn’t that hard for me. But I tried to find people that are similar to Penny and take some nuances from them and also from my life and my own little quirks that I wanted to see in Penny and that’s how I drew inspiration for Penny.
Lunga Shabalala: I think I am fortunate enough to have friends who are producers, so the area of what he does for a living is easy. But everything else, life prepared me for it. With time and age, you start to realize the impact of love in your life and the mistakes you’ve made in the past. A lot of the mistakes that Sandile has made, I’ve been through as well, it resonates with me. I remember when I was this type of boyfriend who didn’t appreciate or didn’t listen. With regards to family, I think we just got a good rapport, also could be they did a good job with the casting process and getting us together to run lines as much as possible and build that kind of connections. Overall, life prepared me.

Are there any similarities between you and your character?
Sihle Ndaba: There is a lot. Penny is far more organized than me, I would love to get to her level of organized. But I am also very organized. She’s also hard-working and pedantic. There is quite a few similarities but her organization is something that I love and admire and hope to do, just like her.
Sparky Xulu : I think being passionate for what you love. We see him when he is at work and when he is with his family, so that passion and love for the things that actually mean something to him are the similarities and being the older brother.
Lunga Shabalala: I would say, just the way Sparky approaches his craft and the way Menzi approaches his work. Sparky has the ability to play because he worked so hard behind the scenes.

What was your favourite moment on set?
Didintle Khunou: Joking around and playing around with Skhumba and Lunga we are not shooting. Sometimes when the schedule is tight, you kind of just to focus on the work and you kind of want to just get through the work but when you’re not shooting, we got to relax ad be playful and it built a lot of chemistry between us, those were my favourite moments. I remember Skhumba and I would do this thing where we’d say lines to see if the other one would corpse. So it would be like an actor’s game between the two of us and a focus exercise as well within
the scene, it keeps us on our toes in the scene.
Duduzile Ngcobo: It was just throughout. I loved and enjoyed it from day one. Ngithole ithuba lokudlala ney’nkuzimalanga, the opportunity to work with them and getting to know them was a joy to me. I was always looked forward to shooting, because I loved every moment we shared as the whole cast and the crew. It was such a beautiful experience for me.

How do you hope the film will impact the audience?
Monnye Kunupi:
The fact that this is a love story and it’s not just serious. It has an element of comedy to it. And also because South Africa is unique on its own and watching something like that, it’s things that are happening on a daily basis in our lives and you see that a lot of people are going to identify with the things they will see on-screen. So, it’s an authentic story and people will really love it.
Motsoaledi Sedumo: I think that they can take away from a Soweto Love Story the family pressures and the societal pressures we get put under as young people, the expectation that at a certain age, you should’ve achieved a certain number of things. I want them to take away the family love that they’re going to see, the platonic love and the self-love that is in the film. Because I think a lot of the times as humans when we hear the word “love”, we almost always automatically think of romantic love but the the film has so many layers of love and so many types of love and I would love audiences to take that.
Ray Neo Buso: Because it’s an international audience, I would love the audience to take-away the South African way of story-telling. We have a different way of telling our stories and how our actors perform and how our directors direct. Watching A Soweto Love Story and seeing the scenery and how beautiful South Africa is and I just want people to see what we’re all about and that we can give them the same level that Hollywood can give.
Motsoaledi Sedumo: Absolutely, just to add on to what Ray just said, I want the whole world to know that they can relate to us. There’s a thing about Africa that makes the world think they can’t relate to us or we don’t go through the same problems. But with the film, the world will get to see that we actually all go through the same thing.
Lunga Shabalala: I just want the audience to be happy.
Sparky Xulu: Basically what we’re doing is passing on a parcel and the parcel is love. The film promotes love, A Soweto Love Story is a jam-packed festival of love, different tones and aspects of love, so I want people to see how much love there is out there. There’s no just one way of love, even with romantic love.
Duduzile Ngcobo: Love is broad and it’s deep. So for me, I want people to watch the film and see true love. The way we are supposed to embrace love. The film will be loved by anyone, even when you’re sad and you watch the film, by the time the credits roll, you’ll feel much better. It’s such a feel-good film. It’s a beautiful love story.

How would you describe your character in 3 words?
Mamodibe Ramodibe: My character is easily a rebel, counterculture, and defined.

What is your favourite thing about A Soweto Love Story?
Ray Neo Buso: My favourite thing about A Soweto Love Story was the script itself, the cast members were a delight to work with. Every single cast member put their hearts into their characters, and you could feel it. I hope that when everyone watches it, they could feel it and see it as well. Another thing, working with our director. Rolisizwe Nikiwe was a delight to work with, it was like a collaboration of director and actor. He makes sure that you’re comfortable with what you’re doing, he understands where the actor is coming from and where he wants his story to go as well, it was a beautiful delight. I feel that every aspect of A Soweto Love Story, everyone brought their A-Game. From the camera crew, to the sound techs, to the cast. Every single person.
Motsoaledi Sedumo: I sadly can’t answer this question because if I’m going to tell you my favourite thing, I’d have to explain certain things and I just don’t want to spoil anything for the viewers.

What is a lesson you’ve learned from your character?
Motsoaledi Sedumo: To stand your ground, know what you want and always go for it and love yourself.
Ray Neo Buso: With my character, I learned that there’s a difference between discreet and secret. And people have to watch it to understand what I’m saying.
Duduzile Ngcobo: I learned that as much as you love your children, you shouldn’t try to control their life. A parent’s duty is guide the child, not to control their child. It taught me that even if I try to control a child’s life, they’ll still have their own individual desires and interest so what I have to do as a parent is to help and guide them through life. If your life was a movie, what genre would it be?
Motsoaledi Sedumo: Mine would be a mix of drama, romcom, a dash of thriller and action.
Ray Neo Ngcobo: I also feel like mine would be a mixture as well but mine would be more of a romcom and a reality show.

Join three brothers as they embark on a journey to find their perfect partner to try and win a family home. Watch A Soweto Love Story, premiering on Netflix on 14 February 2024.

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