Cape Town 130225 A sign on Mabu Vinyl read Oscar Winner after Searching for Sugarman won an oscar last night. The store owner is the co-creator of the documentary. Photo by Michael Walker


A CITY centre record shop expects boom times after Searching for Sugar Man won an Oscar for best documentary feature at an awards ceremony in Los Angeles.

Since early Monday, Mabu Vinyl, a store featured in the film, has proudly displayed a sign in its window: Oscar Winner.

The documentary features Steven Segerman and Craig Strydom from Cape Town, who first tried to find US musician Sixto Rodriguez when it was rumoured he had died decades ago.

Rodriguez was a hit in South Africa, despite being relatively unknown in his home country after releasing two records in the early 1970s.

The award was presented by Ben Affleck in Los Angeles and accepted by first time director, Malik Bendjelloul.

“Thanks to one of the greatest singers ever, Rodriguez,” Bendjelloul said in his acceptance speech.

Searching for Sugar Man was the opening film at the Sundance Film Festival in February last year and has gone on to win 17 film awards internationally.

Jeanne Cilliers from Mabu Vinyl said since the film’s release the shop had become a tourist attraction.

“Business has picked up. We have tour guides coming through, and it’s become a place to go like Table Mountain and the Waterfront,” Cilliers said. “Rodriguez merchandise has been selling like hotcakes.”

The international acclaim for the film has brought more people into the store to buy the Searching for Sugar Man documentary, T-shirts and Rodriguez’s Sugarman CD and to meet Segerman.

“I think it’s a patriotic thing. We’re in Cape Town and it’s right on their doorstep, “ Cilliers said, “You always hear the same things, ‘It’s inspiring’ and ‘It changed my life’.”

Leticia Dolera, 31, from Spain, visited the store yesterday to buy five Sugarman records for her friends. “It was so great because I discovered Rodriguez and the documentary, so it was so cool being able to go to the shop where it all started.”

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