Kings of Mulberry Street

Aaqil Hoosen and Shaan Nathoo in a scene from 'Kings of Mulberry Street.'(Indigenous Film Distribution)
Aaqil Hoosen and Shaan Nathoo in a scene from 'Kings of Mulberry Street.'(Indigenous Film Distribution)


It’s the early 80s, and two young Indian boys who have to find a way to overcome their differences and unite in order to defeat the bullying crime lord who’s threatening their families.

Feisty Ticky Chetty is a skinny kid who enjoys the outdoors, is creative and energetic, and has tons of street smarts. He lives in a Bollywood dream world, where he’s an unbeatable action hero, and rooftops are his kingdom. He’s looking for a partner in crime and sees a trainee in Baboo—chubby, bookish Baboo is equally imaginative and spirited!

Together, these two nine-year-old misfits decide to rid their community of the evil gangster, Raja, and soon discover that they have lots to learn from each other.


South Africa ranks amongst the top 5 countries in the world in terms of its Indian population, and the vast majority live in Durban and surrounds. The city itself is one of the stars of Kings of Mulberry Street, the new feature film written and directed by acclaimed director and producer Judy Naidoo.

The film tells the epic tale of Baboo and his best friend, Ticky. Set in the fictional town of Sugarhill District in the early 80s, the film was shot on location in Verulam and Tongaat in KwaZulu Natal, and parts of the story highlight the amusing differences between “Durban Indians” and their more worldly counterparts in Johannesburg.

Feisty Ticky (Aaqil Hoosen), born and bred in Durban, is the archetypal Indian artful dodger – cheeky and daring with a streetwise swagger and little respect for rules. He escapes the realities of his 80s Sugarhill District existence by living in a Bollywood dream world where he’s an unbeatable action hero. Rooftops are his kingdom.

When chubby, timid Baboo (Shaan Nathoo) moves into the neighbourhood from Johannesburg, with his snooty, academic dad, Ticky thinks he’s the biggest loser he’s ever seen.

Baboo and his father are well spoken, God-fearing people.  Their arrival in the Sugarhill community is something of a shock, especially for the father. Ticky speaks in typical Durban slang, saying “ek sê” repeatedly.  Baboo’s father thinks they have landed in hell.

Ticky and Baboo, however, are soon drawn together by the shared threat of local bully and crime boss, Raja.

A delightful and hilarious adventure, with universal themes that will appeal to the whole family, the film pays tribute to classic 80s Indian cinema and their heroes. Visually colourful and vibrant, it’s also touching and heart-warming.

The film brings together the vibrancy of the Indian community in the 80s as well as Bollywood cinema and songs from that era, in a tale that peers into the past through the prism of the present.