SA life through crackpot lens

Lungelo Nxele. | Supplied

Lungelo Nxele. | Supplied

Published Apr 20, 2024


Durban — Soweto Blaze, a hilarious new South African stoner-action-comedy feature, is set to premiere globally on Netflix on Saturday (today).

The film is produced by award-winning Inanda-born filmmaker, actress and entrepreneur Lungelo Nxele.

Soweto Blaze is a hyper-stylised comedy set in Soweto, Gauteng. A small-time pot dealer’s attempts at making a better life for himself are ambushed when his dim-witted friends sweep him up in a wacky kidnapping scheme involving a feisty young woman with her own plans.

The main cast includes Matli Mohapelo, Dimpho More, Nhlanhla Masiya, Sydney Ndlovu, Nyeleti Khoza, Sello Sebotsane and Palesa Mosiea.

Soweto Blaze, a quirky stoner comedy set in Soweto and produced by award-winning Inanda-born filmmaker, actress and entrepreneur Lungelo Nxele, will premiere on Netflix on Saturday (today).

The film was written and directed by Brad Katzen of 33 Films, and produced by Nxele, Shaun Naidoo and Sibisiso Ngobeni.

Nxele, CEO of Mindset Concepts, said this was her first feature film and she was excited that it would go to a global audience on Netflix.

“I thoroughly enjoyed collaborating. This film brings a lot of comic relief, especially during a tough economic climate and as we approach the elections. This is purely South African comedy that will resonate with a lot of people, especially from the township.

“I’m excited to see what people are going to say about the film and whether we are going to make the top 10 on Netflix,” said Nxele.

She said it was a relief to work on a fun production after a difficult and uncertain pandemic period when most filmmakers struggled to survive and stay inspired.

Nxele has more than 15 years of experience in television and film. Her work has received accolades nationally and internationally: in 2009 she took home an Africa Movie Academy Award (AMAA) for best promising actress in Africa and in 2012 she won the award for best actress in a drama series at the South African Film and Television Awards.

Katzen, whose other productions include The Domestic and uBettina Wethu, said Soweto Blaze did not shy away from the harsh reality of South African life, but rather embraced it and presented a fun, tongue-in-cheek glimpse into a group of quirky characters doing whatever they could to get by in Johannesburg.

“My aim with this story was to showcase a light-hearted, fun, quirky side of South Africa that audiences locally and abroad might not be familiar with, where we empathise with characters who want to better their situation and succeed, despite facing failure at every turn. The themes are self improvement and friendship,” said Katzen.

Independent on Saturday