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remember Sarafina! -Where are they now and what are their thoughts on today’s youth

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From the anthemic soundtrack to the rousing musical choreography and depiction of the 1976 Soweto uprising against apartheid, the 1992 historic film has always been significant in empowering the youth to strive for a better future.

Now almost 30 years into the brighter future that the big-screen adaptation prophesied the youth still faces a variety of new challenges.

But the unwavering spirit of Sarafina! still lives on in the youth as they confront Covid-19 uncertainties and racial injustices through Black Lives Matter protests. 

Now in her 50s, Khumalo observes positive mental health as an area of concern among today’s youth.

“I believe that there is such a big difference between us, the 70s kids and the youth of today,” Khumalo opines.

“I tend to feel sorry for them because they suffer from more peer pressure than we did.

“They need constant guidance. There is a lot of youth suicide, and it shows you how important mental health is. They are facing a lot.”

Playing the titular role in Sarafina gave Khumalo her big acting break in her late teens. She recalls that when she learned that she will be playing opposite Hollywood A-lister Whoopi Goldberg in the production it made her physically ill from nerves.

But to Khumalo’s surprise when she walked on set in Soweto to film her scenes with Oscar-winning actor – who portrayed inspirational teacher Mary Masombuka – she was a pleasure to work with.

The biggest lesson she took from working with Goldberg was to always take a mentorship role when working with rising actors.

“I was working with Whoopi Goldberg… I immediately got sick; I was trembling, sweating, literally feeling at my worst,” Khumalo recounts.

“But oh my word, she was so lovely to me, she called to ask me if I was ok, and I told her how nervous I was about shooting with her.

“Long story short, 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.

Despite her illustrious career that yielded roles in Generations, Yesterday and Uzalo, Khumalo is still referred to as Sarafina! – and she doesn’t mind it.

“The strategy is to remain humble… It was not an intention of mine to be a role model, but I am aware that I am,” Khumalo says.

“It is a fantastic feeling. I have had such a humbling journey. I was not doing the job to be known; I did it because I love what I do.”

Recently Khumalo started her journey as co-executive producer of Imbewu: The Seed. She also leads the cast of the hit e.tv daily drama portraying matriarch MaZulu.

“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,” Khumalo shares.

“I’ve had a few bumps here and there, but I have been growing within the industry, I had no idea that I would end up as a producer because all I wanted was to be a South African actor.

“I was fortunate enough to have starred on an international production.”

Other leading ladies that had their big breaks in the production have gone on to dominate local screens. Sindi Dlathu is currently shaking things up in The River after her long run on Muvhango. Baby Cele leads the cast on Uzalo having has big roles on Backstage, Zabalaza, and Isidingo.

Dieketseng Mnisi who leads the  Lord’s Prayer song in the film is enjoying her stint as MaNtuli in Skeem Saam.

“The scene where I was conducting ‘Our Father who art in heaven’ song at that moment nothing else made sense but conducting, everything from my hands to my feet was in character. That was definitely one of my favorite moments and memories,” Mnisi says.

Aside from Skeem Saam Mnisi has starred in Yizo Yizo, Zone 14, Rhythm City, and Stokvel.

“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,” Mnisi says.

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

“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.

“I also had to learn Sepedi and having to portray such a strong character (mother) is the best experience.”

Kani, whose acting career is respected both locally and internationally, was comparing the youth of today and those of 1976.

The revered actor, who was part of the historical film told Sowetan he was impressed by of how youth of today was not afraid to ask difficult questions. He said the youth of today was passionate, committed, focus, and knew where they were going. 

“I’m so pleased, I see that even in political parties young people are in the decision-making positions and I am impressed. When they ask me about the future of the country post-apartheid overseas, I always say it is in safe hands. We have the youth that knows exactly what this democracy cost and knows what to do,” Kani said.

“They may not look like they are listening at times, but they know what is expected from them. Sometimes, I feel they are angrier than me. That’s the youth that I’m proud of.

Somizi Mhlongo remembers the glory days of hit musical Sarafina as his university.

Perhaps his deft hand at mentoring young musical talent on Idols SA stems from being given the crème de la crème of acting and musical education from industry heavyweights John Kani and Mbongeni Ngema.

“When people talk about their days in university, I talk about Sarafina because that is where I learned how to do what I do. I was there from the time I was a teenager until I was 21,” he says.

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

Mhlongo who shot to fame after his brilliant portrayal of Fire joins me in conversation during one of his breaks between his jam-packed schedule. Despite the Covid-19 induced lockdown, he is filming multiple shows.                                                                                                                                                   

“I can’t tell you what I’m up to right now because my haters will bewitch me,” he jokingly says.

The 47-year-old flamboyant entertainer tells me that he was exposed to the world’s stages at an early age, something most black children did not have the privilege of experiencing.

Meeting Nelson Mandela just after his release from prison is one of his highlights from being a part of the cast of Sarafina.

“When Mandela came out of jail he came to Germany to watch the show with Winnie (Madikizela-Mandela). He invited us to his suite and he told us a short story (folk). For me this was special because I was sitting in front of this man who was seen as Jesus,” he says.

Mhlongo adds that portraying a young person who was fighting for his freedom has stuck with him.

“When I think back to what the youth of 1976 went through to fight for what we have, I think we should also continue fighting for the future of our kids,” he says.

As a father of a young woman and being a role model to young people in the LGBTIQ+ community, openly gay Mhlongo is in tune with the ills that plague South African youth.

“I think the struggle that today’s youth is facing is more than just discrimination against race and sexuality. The youth of today is uncertain about their future, the future does not look good, it looks bleak,” he says.

“To be honest, our generation is to blame because we were supposed to secure the future for them.”

Mhlongo has observed that a high level of unemployment is leaving many young people demotivated.

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

Although it has been years since the cast of Sarafina has worked together, Mhlongo said he has made lifelong friends.

“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,” he shares.

For Dumisani Dlamini, his casting in Sarafina came about when he was trying to impress young women with his dancing skills at a party in Durban.

“I was dancing at a party and Mbongeni Ngema called me to the side. I was a bit annoyed because I thought he was going to be angry that women were giving me attention for my dance moves,” he chuckles.

But surprisingly to Dlamini, Ngema wanted to give him the chance of a lifetime to join the cast of Sarafina as Crocodile.

When speaking to Dlamini about his glory days, one can see how his real-life charisma rubbed off on his character.

“I spoke to my mom and I went to Johannesburg where I learned how to choreograph,” he says.

Like Mhlongo, he was dazzled by performing on stages overseas.

“Our parents were so happy. I learned a lot, how to be open-minded and understanding of different cultures,” he says.

He said Sarafina jump started his career which has allowed him to work on big South African productions.

“I’m glad that I am a big star because of Sarafina today. I’ve worked on Isibaya, Hostel Season 2, Muvhango and Yizo Yizo,” he says.

Travelling around the world has blossomed his love for the finer things in life. Today he owns a perfume store called the Perfume Room in Soweto, selling to people across the township.

In commentary on today’s youth Dlamini said he believes they are misguided because they are not led properly.

“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,” he says.

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Who has Kim Kardashian dated before Kanye West?

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 Kim Kardashian‘s personal life has been in the spotlight for decades, no matter who she’s dated or married.

Kim Kardashian is reportedly dating Pete Davidson, after filing for divorce from Kanye West after six years of marriage.

The Keeping Up With the Kardashians star has had quite the ride down relationship road, and we’re taking you on a trip back to where it all started.

1. Damon Thomas

2000 to 2003, 19-year-old Kim married music producer Damon Thomas, who was ten years her senior.

She has since revealed she was high on ecstasy during the ceremony.

Thomas filed for divorce four years later, with Kardashian later blaming their split on his alleged abusive behaviour, which Thomas denied.

2. Ray J

Kim dated R&B singer Ray J, Brandy Norwood’s younger brother, from 2003 to 2006, as her divorce from Damon Thomas was being finalised.

A year after their split, a sex tape of Kim and Ray J titled Kim Kardashian Superstar leaked online, which catapulted Kim into the limelight.

They were together for about three years, which were “highlighted” by a sex tape that was leaked and released by Vivid Entertainment.

Kim denied any involvement with the tape’s distribution. She sued and settled with Vivid Entertainment, who reportedly paid millions for the footage, for $5 million.

That same year, Kim and her family – sisters Kourtney, Khloe, Kendall and Kylie, brother Rob, mother Kris and stepfather Bruce, now Caitlyn – began starring in their era-defining E!

3. Nick Cannon

After her three-year relationship with Ray J broke down, Kim began dating rapper and television host Nick Cannon in late 2006.

They split in January 2007, one month before Kim’s infamous sex tape with Ray J leaked. Years after their split, Cannon explained how their relationship broke down after she lied to him about the existence of the tape.

4. Reggie Bush

Kim dated NFL player Reggie Bush from 2007 to 2010, her first relationship documented on Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

The couple briefly split in 2009, but later reconciled before finally breaking up a year later.

 There was scuttlebutt about the two reuniting, and apparently, up until her August 2011 wedding to Kris Humphries

5. Kris Humphries

In October 2010, Kim began dating NBA player Kris Humphries, who was playing for the New Jersey Jets at the time. Seven months later, the pair were engaged.

Their whirlwind wedding was the centre of a two-part television special and reportedly cost around $10 million.

She later explained that she felt pressured to marry Humphries , Kardashian added, “I knew on the honeymoon it wasn’t going to work out.”

However, after just 72 days of marriage, Kim filed for divorce from Humphries, citing irreconcilable differences , which was finalised in 2013.

6. Kanye West

In 2012, Kim began dating longtime friend Kanye West while still legally married to NBA player Kris Humphries, and the rest is history.

A year later, West proposed to Kim inside a baseball stadium in San Francisco, and the pair married at Fort di Belvedere in Florence, Italy in 2014.

Kim and Kanye have four children; daughter North (born June 15, 2013), son Saint (born December 5, 2015), daughter Chicago (born January 15, 2018), and son Psalm (born May 9, 2019).

They share a mansion in Calabasas, California worth around $60 million, as well as various other properties including West’s $14 million ranch in Wyoming.

Kardashian officially filed for divorce from West in February 2021 after 6 years of marriage and a judge declared her legally single in March 2022.

7. Pete Davidson

While West admitted he still wanted to be with “wife” Kardashian despite their split, the makeup mogul was wooed by comedian Pete Davidson following her “SNL” hosting gig in October 2021.

They were later spotted holding hands on a rollercoaster at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California.

By November, she was seen in his native Staten Island, where they enjoyed back-to-back dinners.

It was  confirmed on Nov. 18 that Davidson and Kardashian are officially a couple and are still together till date .

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Sauti Sol loses 2K YouTube subscribers over Azimio la Umoja drama

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Award-winning Kenyan Boy band Sauti Sol have continued to lose YouTube subscribers since threatening to take legal action against Azimio la Umoja One Kenya Coalition party over claims of using their song without permission.

By Tuesday night, Sauti Sol had 905,000 YouTube subscribers but were at 903,000 subscribers on Wednesday morning.

On Monday, May 16, 2022 Sauti Sol threatened to sue Azimio for using their song Extravaganza during an event that saw the Alliance unveil Martha Karua as Raila Odinga’s running.

The group pointed out that the act of Azimio using their tune without consent is blatant copyright infringement as directed by Section 35, CAP 170 of the Copyright Act of Kenya.

However, Raila Odinga through his party – the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) – argued that playing the song was show of love to the music group.

ODM’s statement elicited mixed reactions with everyone picking sides and some chose to understand what the law says about copyright infringement. However, Sauti stood firm and said they will always fight for their rights.

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“Y’all are crazy. I’m reading comments on Twitter. Our education system is failing us. Too many ignorant keyboard warriors. The same guys stealing from us will steal from you,” wrote Bien.

Bien added that they will never back down from doing what is right saying, ‘intellectual property will and should be respected.

On Wednesday, the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) CEO Ezekiel Mutua issued a statement explaining that Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Coalition party is free to use Sauti Sol and other artiste’s sound recording during their political events.

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Sauti Sol Threatens to Sue Azimio Coalition Over Copyright Infringement

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Award-winning Kenyan band Sauti Sol has threatened to sue Raila Odinga and the Azimio La Umoja One Kenya Alliance for copyright infringement.

Through a statement, Sauti Sol said that the act of Azimio using their song ‘Extravaganza’ without their consent is blatant copyright infringement as directed by section 35, CAP 170 of the Copyright Act of Kenya.

“It has come to our attention that the Azimio la Umoja campaign through its flagbearer and presidential candidate, the Right Hon.

former Prime Minister, Raila Odinga’s social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) have without license nor authority used one of our more popular original compositions, “Extravaganza,” as a soundtrack to the announcement post of the running mate,” their statement read in part.

“We did not license this song to the Azimio la Umoja Campaign neither did we give any consents for its use in the announcement of their Vice-Presidential Candidate”

They accused the Raila Odinga-led coalition of using one of their songs as a soundtrack during the unveiling of Narc Kenya Party leader Martha Karua as the coalition’s running mate.

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) has answered Sauti Sol after the band threatened to sue Azimio la Umoja for outright disregarding the country’s copyright laws.

“We would like to assure our celebrated musical team, Sauti Sol, that we love them & appreciate their music so much.

The group has carried our country’s flag so high in international fora and every Kenyan appreciates this. Playing their song yesterday was a show of love for their work,” ODM stated

Trending top in the country, netizens have rallied and called out the Extravaganza hitmakers for chasing clout and having double standards.

They were shortly after trolled with netizens pointing out that the Raila-led team had already paid for copyright and got the greenlight from MCSK to play music for campaigns.

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Notably, earlier this month, Winnie Odinga, Raila’s representative had paid Sh526,000 to the Music Copyright Society of Kenya (MCSK) to play local/international music during the presidential campaigns. This was confirmed by Senior Licensing Officer David Kiragu.

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