Reviews | Tumelo movie premier


Tumelo is a movie that is inspired by true life events which have been shaking up the country and the rest of the world for a long time now. This is a dramatic story about a girl, Tumelo (played by Mpho Masiu), who has been living in a concrete jungle her whole life in a toxic environment. Living a life of poverty and turmoil at every turn while trying to find a glimpse of hope having applied to a university in the UK.

Written, created by and starring Mpho Masiu, this a drama that will leave your emotions on a high. With some comedic scenes that will leave you in stitches and some romance that will melt your heart, you will be on a rollercoaster ride of emotions during this movie. This is a story about struggle, forgiveness, the thin line between love and hate, but most importantly, it's a story about resilience.

Story Line:

Tumelo is a young girl who is striving for a better life and future for herself as well as her younger sister, Tlotlo. Her sister is suffering from a terminal illness, and she is battling to get her medication and money for school as finances are tight. They are both living with their mother (played by Sebakeng Kabi) as well as her stepfather (played by Simphiwe Gabriel Mini) under his roof.

She has a tough relationship with her mother. She requires the kind of love and guidance that a young woman needs from her mother, and protection not just from the world, but from home, especially from her abusive stepfather. This makes things extremely complicated because her mother is battling her own demons from her past, and needs saving herself, leaving her oblivious to the flaws of her husband.

She has an even tougher relationship with herself, as she struggles to find her ground as a young woman trying to figure out who she really is and the struggle between fitting in and standing out in the world. Her best friend (played by Nthabiseng Mnguni) has come to terms with what life always has and always will be, and resorts to living the high life that is endorsed by rich men.

After a string of disappointments and hopeless situations, she decides to join her friend in living the high life by trying to change her appeal and partying it up with esoteric, affluent and suave looking individuals such as Bafana (played by Orapeleng Motumi).

This highlights the true life situation where one can live their life trying to be strong and resilient in sticking to one's core values but at any given moment, resolve can be broken and you can end up losing yourself. It is in such instances, that in losing yourself, you can find life anew.

This is where she meets her sister's doctor (played by Strauss Mokorobi) for the first time off duty, who plays a crucial role in reminding her that one's circumstances do not have to define who you are.


Directed by the outstanding Day Schwartz, the production of this film is of an impeccable standard. Generally, local movies that portray local stories commonly in rural South Africa, often resort to a standard kind of production. This can be due to the appropriateness of the storyline or budget constraints. This movie, however, has paid as much attention to the production as in the storyline, setting itself apart from the pack.

The cinematography is crisp and clean. Different camera angles and shots have been used appropriately and creatively for each scene, including drone shots over the Khuma township and some shots to show the infrastructure of Klerksdorp CBD.

The wardrobe and make up are simple and reflect the hardships of township life and pain - physical and emotional. The picture colouring is noticeably brilliant, with crystal clear pictures in literally every scene. This is backed up by strong sound effects, as non-synchronous sound is used throughout the movie to keep you at the edge of your seat and have your adrenaline rush on a high.

All these components work well to achieve the intention of the film with just the perfect balance.

Premier Event

The crowd certainly played their part in the success of the event in receiving the movie. The majority, if not the entire crowd was moved and reacted to most scenes in the movie.

There were moans and jeers as Tumelo was being abused by her stepfather, wild cheers when a heroe emerges, and the singing and dancing along to Bafana's iconic "let's toast to a good life" scene. But most importantly, a thunderous round of applause from the crowd that was in awe and wonder as soon as the movie ended was simply a moment of magic.

The premier was hosted at the inaugural Klerksdorp Auditorium, inside the building of the Matlosana City Council, Klerskdorp. It was a spectacular black tie affair, and the attendees came through looking dapper and elegant on the red carpet.

The people of Matlosana came in numbers to attend this premier, to support local talent in Mpho Masiu and Orapelleng Motumi in their night of success and new beginnings in 2020 as the auditorium was packed to the rafters. Even Putla Sehlapelo (Meneer Magongwa on Skeem Saam) as well as other local talent, receiving the warmest welcome as the love was being spread as much as the cameras were snapping.

The MC for the night was the beautiful and flavourful Sibongile Tshabalala, with Nthability (Star FM) hosting the red carpet. The performances were by Klerksdorp's rising Hip Hop star, Tee Pee Nerd, the soulful and soothing yet high octane poetry by StanzaMolefetsi, and the all-in-one full packaged star, Mpho Masiu, showcasing her singing (Is there anything she can't do?)

The stage was certainly lit up, and the night was nothing short of inspirational and successful.

The celebrated Orapeleng Motumi (Bafana) was truly humbled by the support. "I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people of Maklera for supporting. I would also like to thank Mpho (Masiu) for giving us this opportunity to do this project and helping to unearth raw talent. We need to uplift each others' communities."

The multi-talented and hard working Mpho Masiu was overwhelmed by the support and the reception of the movie. "Without all of these people here on this stage tonight (cast and crew), I would not have achieved anything here," she spoke humbly.

"I'm a writer, producer, actress and I will be directing in my next project. You guys are going to see more of this production team," she continues with pride and gratitude.

Kudos to Masiu Empire Production, because hearts were stolen with this movie. Well done to the community and City of Matlosana for showing support to local talent, a high standard was set.

A presentation by the IllumiNature Secret Libary & Masiu Empire
A Natural Light Magazine/ Masiu Empire Production production
A story by Mpho Masiu
Written by Tevin NKS
Edited by Digital Scribes
Photos: M.E.P & Tlakaza.com [Photography Station]
By arrangement with ISL Publishing Co. & Masiu Empire Production
Thanks to Mpho Masiu & City of Matlosana

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