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Film Review – Fanie Fourie’s Lobola

Director: Henk Pretoruis
Screenplay: Pretoruis and Janine Eser
Cast: Zethu Dlomo, Eduan van Jaarsveldt and Jerry Mofokeng
Genre: Romantic Comedy

“Fanie Fourie’s Lobola” is a South African love story about two people from different cultural backgrounds. Basically it is about a white man and a black woman falling in love, highlighting the real issues behind it while using humour to cut through subjects that still remain sensitive in post-Apartheid South Africa. It shows us the trials and tribulations the lovers go through while trying to make their relationship work and how the people around them do not approve and try to disrupt it.
The film stars Zethu Dlomo as Dinky Magubane and Eduan van Jaarsveldt as Fanie Fourie are the two love birds in the film. It also stars veteran actors Jerry Mofokeng as Dinky’s father and Lilian Dube as their neighbour. I admired the acting in Lobola, with the actors portraying the real South Africa. They have an authentic flair about them and feed of each others energy. I got the impression that in all likelihood, some of the scenes were impromptu.
Before watching this film, I was very skeptical, expecting a film like “Poena is Koning”. There is nothing wrong with Poena is Koning, but it’s just not my cup of tea. I did get that feeling at the outset of the movie, but gradually the mood changed to become more serious. At some point I cringed at the issues that are raised, and this just showed me that even though I went to a so-called white school and shared a dorm with white girls, some issue I still find too sensitive to talk about. I would prefer to sweep them under the carpet and go on with my life.

But the movie also opened my eyes to the fact that black people are also very racist towards whites. Some people would think it is okay to be racist to a white person, mainly because “they will never have it as bad as the blacks had it”. But this attitude just has to stop, “finish en klar”!
The best thing for me about Fanie Fourie’s Lobola is the music; it just reminds me of the times I go visit my family in South Africa – good times, I tell you! The soundtrack includes songs of Afrikaans rapper Jack Parow with “Cooler as Ekke”, Frishly Gound’s “Fire is Low”, and Lira’s “Phakade”, one of my favourite groups.
We still do have racial issues in need of being sorted out, but the question remains: How?  Maybe by making movies like this we get to scratch the surface a little, but we still have a long way to go.
I do not know what the situation is like in South Africa at the moment, but here in Namibia I see racism almost every day, from whites as well as blacks, but we tend to ignore it and just carry on with our lives.
Besides me being all melodramatic, this is a very funny and romantic film, proving the point that love conquers all, no matter what.
Lobola has already won the Film Festival Audience Award at this year’s Jozi Film Festival as well as the Audience Award at the 2013 Sedona International Film Festival.


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