Essay On Sarafina

Essay on Sarafina

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Sarafina! is the story of the struggle for freedom of non-European school children in Soweto, South Africa. The story takes place during the time of the Apartheid just before Nelson Mandela was released in 1990 and the Apartheid ended. The Apartheid was a policy of strict racial segregation and political and economic discrimination against non-whites in the Republic of South Africa (WWWebster Dictionary). Segregation and discrimination against non-whites was imposed in housing, employment, education, and public services. It was enforced with a cruelly oppressive regime that used intimidation, torture, and murder to maintain order. Sarafina! was thus an open window to what went on during the Apartheid tied into the…show more content…

It was heard in their heated discussions in the classroom and around school about ways that they can gain their freedom. The children's unity was also seen when they decided to take on the South African government themselves by fighting back with the same tactics that the South African used—violence. Collectivity is also seen at the end of the movie when the children performed the song and dance of Nelson Mandela's return and him leading South Africa once again. Sarafina! also changed the traditional role of women. In the film, the young girl, Sarafina, was the main character. She was outspoken, rebellious, and determined to stop the oppressive South African government at any cost. Sarafina was the one who always came up with all the ideas and did all the planning. She was the one who took matters into her own hands even when no one stood behind her. She was goal-oriented and the strong link of all the children of South Africa. There was the scene in which Sarafina anxiously requests to play Nelson Mandela in the play. When one of her male classmates states that she is a girl and that girls cannot play Nelson Mandela, Sarafina quickly proves him wrong. Then, low and behold, at the end of the movie, Sarafina played the part of Nelson Mandela. In Sarafina!, Mrs. Masambuca (played by Whoopi Goldberg), is a role

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This article is about the South African film. For the musical, see Sarafina! For the Lion King character, see Sarafina (The Lion King).

Sarafina! is a 1992 South African film directed by Darrell Roodt and starring Leleti Khumalo, Whoopi Goldberg, Miriam Makeba, John Kani and Tertius Meintjies.


The plot centres on students involved in the Soweto Riots, in opposition to the implementation of Afrikaans as the language of instruction in schools. The character Sarafina (Leleti Khumalo) feels shame at her mother's (Miriam Makeba) acceptance of her role as domestic servant in a white household in apartheidSouth Africa, and inspires her peers to rise up in protest, especially after her inspirational teacher, Mary Masombuka (Whoopi Goldberg) is imprisoned. In the opening scene, Sarafina (Leleti Khumalo) is seen talking while staring at Nelson Mandela's picture, the time the South African icon was still imprisoned. In the latter scene Sarafina is again talking while staring at Mandela's picture on the wall, criticizing him for being gone for a long time and not responding to the nation's pleas, idolising him as someone who can change the horrific situation that the Black nation of South Africa is in.



The film was shot on location in Soweto and Johannesburg, South Africa. Darrell Roodt directed, with the script by Mbongeni Ngema and William Nicholson. Leleti Khumalo reprised her role as Sarafina, with Whoopi Goldberg as Mary Masombuka and Miriam Makeba as Angelina. Companies involved included the British Broadcasting Corporation. In the United States, the MPAA, rated the film PG-13 for scenes of apartheid-driven violence. The extended version, released in 1993, was rated R for strong scenes of violence.

For Whoopi Goldberg, this was a project she was determined to be a part of, and convinced the executives at Disney that if they agreed to make this film, she would agree to reprise her role as Dolores Van Cartier in Sister Act 2: Back In The Habit, which Disney was keen to make since the original had brought in many millions worldwide.[citation needed].



The film was screened out of competition at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival.[1] Whoopi Golberg mentioned on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (who said the movie was a hit in South Africa), that the LA riots due to Rodney King happened at the same time that Sarafina! was released which resulted in the movie not being so well known in the US.


The film was released on 18 September 1992. Sarafina! was re-released in South Africa on 16 June 2006 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Soweto uprising in Soweto. The re-mastered director’s cut is not very different from the original, except for the inclusion of one scene that was cut from the original, between Leleti Khumalo (Sarafina) and Miriam Makeba (Sarafina's mother), which includes a musical number "Thank You Mama".

Box office[edit]

Sarafina! grossed $7,306,242 in North American box office receipts.[2]


External links[edit]

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