Stars reunite in New York to celebrate 30 years of Sarafina! film

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Whoopi Goldberg and Leleti Khumalo.
Whoopi Goldberg and Leleti Khumalo.
Photo: Supplied
  • A special screening of the pioneering South African film Sarafina! took place to commemorate the 30th anniversary of its release in the United States.
  • The event was co-hosted by producer Anant Singh, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the South African Consulate General New York.
  • "I am honoured to be alive to celebrate" the 30-year anniversary, said lead actor Whoopi Godlberg, who attended the event.


Producer Anant Singh held a special screening of the pioneering South African film Sarafina! to commemorate the 30th anniversary of its release in the United States.

Wednesday night's screening at the Museum of Modern Art in New York – co-hosted by Singh, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the South African Consulate General New York – coincided with the United Nations General Assembly.

The event was attended by His Serene Highness, Prince Albert of Monaco, members of the original Sarafina! cast, including lead actors Whoopi Goldberg and Leleti Khumalo, Ntombikhona Dlamini, Nandi Ndlovu, and Lindiwe Dlamini, Basetsana Kumalo, Chair of the South African Chamber of Commerce in the USA Neil Diamond and a host of United Nations delegates, diplomats and members of the International Olympic Committee.

Leleti Khumalo, Whoopi Goldberg, Anant Singh, His
Leleti Khumalo, Whoopi Goldberg, Anant Singh, His Serene Highness Prince Albert of Monaco, Vanashree Singh and Sello Hatang (CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation).
2. Whoopi Goldberg and Leleti Khumalo share a ligh
2. Whoopi Goldberg and Leleti Khumalo share a light moment at the screening.

Directed by Darrell Roodt, Sarafina! had its United States premiere at New York's prestigious Radio City Musical Hall 30 years ago, on 14 September 1992. 

Speaking at the screening, Anant Singh said: "Sarafina! holds up really well 30 years after its release. The film celebrates the young women of our liberation, the mothers of the struggle who made significant sacrifices and our powerful legacy of activism."

He added: "When we started the process of making Sarafina! little did we know that by the time the film had its premiere, Madiba would be released from prison. We are very privileged that he attended the world premiere in Johannesburg three decades ago."

Also speaking at the screening, Whoopi Goldberg said: "It's great to be here. I look at Leleti, I look at Anant, and I think, 'Wow, we did do this!' I'm getting old, and every couple of years, there's a celebration, and this is a 30-year celebration. I am honoured to be alive to celebrate it."

Talking about the relevance of Sarafina! in today's world, she said:

"Keep talking to the kids because they are going to fix it, they are going make it happen, they are going to make change happen. They are not polite; they are not going to bend when they see something wrong, and that's what happened in the film. They just got tired and said no more."

Leleti Khumalo said: "I lived the role of Sarafina on stage, and I am grateful to Anant for believing in me to play the role in the film. I am thrilled to be here in person to celebrate this milestone and to share this special moment with Whoopi."


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