The life story of Indian golfing legend Papwa Sewgolum is going to be made into a movie. And the search is on for a Bollywood A-lister to play the lead role.
SA-based film producer David Selvan said the story was based on the human message that a person with “talent and fortitude” could make it against all the odds.
“I believe people who watch it will be moved to tears and uplifted,” he said.
The film Papwa will be based on the real-life story of Sewgolum, a Durban man |who persevered to play world-class golf during the apartheid era.
His prowess won him international acclaim and discredited the rationality of SA’s segregation laws.
Selvan will use next week’s Durban FilmMart to pitch the film to international financiers, broadcasters and co-producers.
He emphasised that the film would steer clear of any “big political message”.
“Papwa could have been a world famous golfer but for apartheid… He had an extraordinary talent and was also an inspirational figure, a person who succeeded despite his very humble background.
This is a personal and a historically significant story,” he said.
Selvan intended to start filming next year March.
Sewgolum’s son, Rajen, said yesterday that he was pleased to have a movie made about his father.
Sewgolum, a former caddie, caused a stir in 1963 when he beat 103 white golfers – including Harold Henning – in the Natal Open tournament at the Durban Country Club.
He was not allowed to enter the club to receive his prize.
A picture of a downcast Sewgolum standing in the rain being handed his trophy through an open window while the rest of the golfers and |officials were warmly ensconced in the clubhouse enjoying the post-game fare outraged the world and gave impetus to the international movement to boycott apartheid sport.
In 1965, Sewgolum went on to beat golfing great Gary Player. He won the Dutch Open in 1959, 1960 and 1963.
Despite his success, as a black golfer he was not allowed to play the sport professionally in his own country.
Sewgolum died in 1978.