Time really flies. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been 15 years since the award winning, internationally acclaimed movie, “Izulu Lami” first premiered on our cinemas. The film was directed by Madoda Ncayiyana and to this day, it remains memorable and unparalleled.
A 10 year old girl by the name of Thembi left her rural home with her eight year old brother on the plight to go to the city of Durban to fulfil their mother’s dream, who had recently passed away.
Thembi (Sobahle Mkhabase) and Khwezi (Sibonelo Malinga) are left orphaned after their mother passes away. Their aunt who’s left to be their legal guardian, ends up mistreating them, so they decide to leave and go look for a white priest who had once gone to their village and announced a craft competition.
Their mother had woven a mat; but unfortunately she passed away before getting the mat to the white priest.
Thembi and Khwezi’s mutual goal is to find the priest, give him the mat their mother had made for the competition, on her behalf.
The siblings are offered a hike to Durban by a kind stranger they encounter along the way. They ride in his truck… but their problems begin when they get to Durban.
When they get to Durban, they meet a gang of street kids that are led by a 12 year old boy named Chilli-Bite (the movie’s protagonist).
Somehow, Chilli-Bite persuades Khwezi and Thembi to stay with them and reassures the
Siblings that he knows a person who knows where the priest who had held the competition, lives
Unfortunately, it is later revealed that Chilli-Bite was lying the whole time and his grand plan was to sell Thembi to a male human trafficker who believed since Thembi was a little girl and still a virgin; she would cure his AIDS. By a miracle, Thembi escapes before the man violates her. She finds her way back to the gang of street kids lead by Chilli Bite.
Fortunately, her brother is still alive and unharmed; but when she encounters Chilli Bite after he’d sold her to the human trafficker, she becomes furious and says the movie’s most memorable line, “Chilli Bite uyinja, ngiyakuzonda” which translates to “You’re a dog Chilli Bite, I hate you” in Zulu
It has been 14 years since the movie premiered and this is how the how the child stars look now:
“Khwezi “ played by Sibonelo Malinga
He played a phenomenal role in Izulu Lami, however he was never seen on TV ever again. He is now an admitted attorney of the high court of South Africa though.
“Chilli-Bite” played by Tshepang Mohlomi
Since Izuli Lami, he has also had roles on Otelo Burning (2011), Uzalo Season 4 (2018) and At Ellen’s Age(2010).
“Thembi” played by Sobahle Mkhabase
She’s been scarce on television but she graduated a year ago, has a child and is married to a man by the name of Katlego Justice Lebina.