‘Sarafina!’ for Youth Day: Top 5 SA Actors, Somizi Mhlongo, John Kani and Leleti Khumalo’s Latest Achievements

‘Sarafina!’ for Youth Day: Top 5 SA Actors, Somizi Mhlongo, John Kani and Leleti Khumalo’s Latest Achievements

  • Sarafina! is practically an annual movie in commemoration of 16 June, which remembers the youth who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their freedom
  • The actors who played the iconic roles alongside Whoopi Goldberg in the unforgettable film Sarafina! have continued to blossom in their careers and lives in general
  • Somizi Mhlongo, Leleti Khumalo, John Kani, the iconic Crocodile by Dumisani Dlamini and the lead singer in Sarafina! are now all considered South African TV icons

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The 1992 film Sarafina! gave birth to many of South Africa's film and TV staples. The film Sarafina! introduced the world to a young Dumisani Dlamini who played the memorable Crocodile.

'Sarafina!', Somizi, John Kani, Lelethi Khumalo, Duminsani Dlaimini, actors, entertainers, legend
'Sarafina' was the beginning of many legendary careers, including Somizi, John Kani and Leleti Khumalo's. Image: Instagram/@somizi/@leletikhumalo/Getty Images/Oupa Bopape/Gallo Images
Source: UGC

Dieketseng Mnisi sang her heart out alongside Whoopi Goldberg, Leleti Khumalo, Somizi Mhlongo and all those who gave amazing performances as part of the Sarafina! cast. Here is what the five beloved actors have been up to.

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1. Somizi Mhlongo

Now a reality star of his show Living the Dream with Somizi, the star has continued entertaining South Africa. Somizi entranced the audience with his captivating performance as Fire in Sarafina!.

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According to SowetanLIVE, Somizi says that his role in Sarafina! was his first real acting lesson.

“I did not go to school but Mbongeni Ngema (theatre producer) is an institution, he taught us for free and it had so much value. Sarafina! is my pride and I will forever be proud.”

Somizi says that his career highlight was meeting Mandela after his release from prison and that he also built strong connections in the entertainment industry as he says:

"I'm still friends with Baby Cele, Sindi [Dlathu], Leleti [Khumalo] and [Dieketseng] Mnisi. They all play different roles in my life, when I need financial advice I go to someone and when I need relationship advice I go to someone else."

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Somizi added that his role in Sarafina! highlighted the importance of the youth fighting back as he said:

"I think the youth need to take charge and push us aside if that is what is necessary, they need to be the change they want to see."

2. John Kani

Dr John Kani continues to be an important figure in South African entertainment. Briefly News reported that the legend was on trending lists after an interview on Podcast and Chill to discuss Dr Kani's long career.

SowetanLIVE reports that American actor Whoopi Goldberg recommended John Kani for his iconic role as the principal in Sarafina! John Kani fondly remembers the impact of Sarafina! as he says:

"To show Sarafina!, especially during Youth Month [June], it brings back that passion. This will make them relate directly to that energy and stop using the month of June as a memory lane but mostly as what do we do now.”

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John Kani is now an even more recognisable international name. His most revered international role is in the American blockbuster Black Panther. The veteran actor also extended beyond his trade when he appeared in Zakes Bantwini's Osama music video.

3. Leleti Khumalo

Leleti has graced screens on eTV's Imbewu: The Seed as co-executive producer and actor. The legend has also been on the hit series Uzalo. The actor starred as Sarafina and says the film was the beginning of her now illustrious career. SowetanLIVE reports Leleti Khumalo saying:

“When I started this journey, I was not sure where it was taking me. Sarafina! launched me. It was the beginning of my career and I’ve been enjoying it, I was fortunate enough to have starred on an international production.”

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Leleti Khumalo is aware of her influence as a veteran actor. She says that when she shoots with young people, she never tries to use her " star power" as intimidation. She says she always remains humble as she tries to handle the responsibility of being a role model.

Leleti added that working with Whoopi Goldberg taught her to be humble. The actress said:

"Whoopi was so good to me, she made me feel relaxed. I did not see an actor in her that day, I saw a mother. She nurtured me."

4. Dumisani Dlamini

The actor, who played Crocodile in Sarafina!, fondly remembers the role as what started his career on South African TV. Dumisani Dlamini says he worked on Isibaya, eHostela 2 Muvhango and Yizo Yizo.

SowetanLIVE reports that Dumisani explains his feelings about his role as a youth affected by apartheid in Sarafina! The actor said playing Crocodile remains close to his heart as he wishes for the current South African youth to have better lives. He said:

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“My dream for the youth is to see unemployment to go down and for more young people to believe in the power of God. I also want to see more schools for creative children because a lot of them do not have access to better schools,”

Aside from TV, Dumisani now owns a perfume store in Soweto, reports SowetanLIVE.

Briefly News also reported that Dumisani Dlamini's daughter is US pop star Doja Cat after she told the world.

5. Dieketseng Mnisi

Most will remember Dieketseng Mnisi as the leader of the funeral song that laid the fallen youth to rest in Sarafina!. Dieketseng Mnisi currently plays MaNtuli on Skeem Saam.

'Sarafina', funeral song lead, Dieketseng Mnisi, actress, 'Skeem Saam', legend, soapies
Dieketseng Mnisi who led the 'Sarafina' funeral song has become a beloved actress in Mzansi. Image: Getty Images/Oupa Bopape/Gallo Images
Source: Getty Images

Dieketseng also credits Sarafina! for her long-standing career on South African TV. She said:

“The late Gibson Kente (father of township theatre) taught us everything we know today and it’s been a long journey since then."

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The actress became a staple as she starred in original South African series such as Zone 14, Rhythm City and the beloved comedy Stokvel. About her career, she said:

“It has been a blissful journey, very hard at times but fulfilling. I think my resilience has pulled me through. If it were not for that I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

The actress expresses happiness with her role on Skeem Saam as she shows that she's truly a hard worker, having learnt Sepedi for the role, reported SowetanLIVE.

“I have grown from ‘mistress it’s a pity’ in Sarafina! to Ma Ntuli in Skeem Saam – a character that challenges me on a daily basis."

"For the 283 6438th time": SA gets into heated debate about watching Sarafina!

Briefly News previously reported that Sarafina! was trending on social media. The movie, which was released in 1992, is always broadcast on Mzansi TV on Youth Day, a public holiday commemorated annually on 16 June.

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Leleti Khumalo, Somizi Mhlongo, Mbongeni Ngema and US actress Whoopi Goldberg are some of the stars who feature in the legendary movie.

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Source: Briefly News

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