Fanie Fourie's Lobola, a contemporary romantic comedy
What happens when an Afrikaner guy and a Zulu girl fall in love and have to navigate their way through the complicated process of lobola? It's a recipe for disaster explored in Fanie Fourie's Lobola, a contemporary romantic comedy about love and tradition in a rapidly evolving society set for release on 1 March, 2013.
Funny yet hard-hitting, the film tackles the thorny subject of cross-cultural relationships with humour and honesty. Directed by Henk Pretorius (Bakgat!, Bakgat! 2), and co-written by Pretorius and Janine Eser, Fanie Fourie's Lobola stars talented newcomer Zethu Dlomo as Dinky and film and comedy favourite Eduan van Jaarsveld as the affable Fanie. The film is the first from Once Upon a Story, a script development initiative headed by veteran industry leader Paul Raleigh and Janine Eser, which aims to take great South African stories to the big screen and the world.
Out of Africa producers Lance Samuels and Kweku Mandela responded immediately to the screenplay: "When we read the script, we laughed out loud," said Samuels. "A rare event when reading a screenplay, but what took us by surprise was how the story captured our hearts and moved us so much."
A fresh and unique backdrop
"At its core, the movie is a real love story between two quirky characters who are deeply attracted to each other," said co-writer and producer Eser. "But the South African context brings a fresh and unique backdrop to the obstacles they have to overcome. It's really heartening to hear test audiences saying: "This is such a great date movie!"
Helen Kuun, CEO of Indigenous Film Distribution, which is distributing the film in South Africa, said the film is a long-awaited fun love story that will also tug at audiences' heartstrings. "In the tradition of Jumping the Broom and My Big Fat Greek Wedding, it asks if the young lovers can endure the hysterical and harrowing trials of love, family and different cultures."
The story begins with Fanie, a young Afrikaner who designs custom vintage cars that resemble African animals. His brother Sarel, played with cheesy aplomb by Chris Chameleon, is a massively successful Afrikaans pop star who is about to marry the "perfect girl". Fanie lives with his mother in a home where time seems to have stood still. On a dare, he asks Dinky Magubane, a beautiful Zulu woman who is also an aspiring entrepreneur, to come with him to his brother's wedding. She agrees on the condition that Fanie visits her at home and pretends to be her boyfriend so that she can stop her deeply traditional father from pressurising her into marrying her ostentatious ex-boyfriend Mandla, a man she doesn't love.
What began as a hoax becomes a meaningful relationship
But things go awry when Dinky and Fanie start to fall in love. What began as a hoax to annoy their families becomes a meaningful relationship. The two find themselves bound by their shared sense of humour and a desire to create a life that is different from what their parents expect of them. But as they confront cultural differences, family politics, and a malicious ex-boyfriend their relationship falls apart. Dinky tells Fanie that it's over, because he's "Fanie Fourie" and she's "Dinky Magubane".
But try as they might to remain apart, both of them have been changed by the relationship. A business idea brings them together once more, but it's a strictly commercial arrangement. That's when Fanie decides that it's time that he shows Dinky just how much he really loves her and he does it with a spectacularly grand gesture.
Fanie Fourie's Lobola was inspired by the book of the same name, written by Nape à Motana.