The story of struggle hero, Solomon Mahlangu, comes to the big screen in Kalushi: The Solomon Mahlangu Story


Kalushi: The Solomon Mahlangu Story comes to life on the big screen and, with a handful of awards, is not to be missed.

The all-South African cast includes Thabo Rametsi in the pivotal role of Mahlangu, alongside Thabo Malema, Louw Venter, Marcel van Heerden, Welile Nzuza, Shika Budhoo and Pearl Thusi. Acclaimed poet and playwright, Dr Gcina Mhlophe plays the role of Martha Mahlangu.

The film tells the remarkable story of Solomon ‘Kalushi’ Mahlangu, a young man, largely forgotten by history, who became the voice of so many when nobody was listening to the country’s youth. At a time when youth uprisings were at their height, the young Kalushi would use his arrest and trial to speak for the masses who were being silenced at every turn. Sentenced to death at the age of 23, despite being innocent of the accusations against him, he refused to be silenced.

Read: Kalushi headlines RapidLion Film Festival

The production is written and directed by Mandla Dube, who takes viewers on a riveting journey during which we rediscover the contribution made by Mahlangu and those who moulded and inspired him. Filmed on location at many of the places where the events of Mahlangu’s life unfolded, including the gallows where he was put to death, the film offers fascinating insights into his life.

Although a simple man, Mahlangu remains a role model for those who came after him, and echoes of his sacrifice can be found in the current Fees Must Fall movement.

“It is interesting to note that the campaign organisers from Fees Must Fall called me to ask if they can rename Wits Great Hall after Solomon Mahlangu, and I introduced them to the family,” said Dube.

“He is certainly someone who offers hope to young people the world over, and his story demonstrates how the strength of the human spirit can triumph, even under the most difficult and oppressive circumstances. In a way, I made this film with my students in mind.”

The film won the RapidLion award at the 2016 Rapid Lion International Film Festival and screened at the Durban International Film Festival where it was hailed by audiences and critics alike. The film went on to screen at the Cannes Marche 2016 and has been invited to screen at numerous international festivals.

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