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Sarafina! (1992)

PG-13 | | Drama, Musical | 25 September 1992 (USA)
2:06 | Trailer
South African teenagers fight against apartheid in the Soweto Uprising.


(as Darrell James Roodt)


(play), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mary Masembuko
School Principal
Dumisani Dlamini ...
Mbongeni Ngema ...
Sipho Kunene ...
Tertius Meintjes ...
Lieutenant Bloem
Robert Whitehead ...
Somizi Mhlongo ...
Fire (as Somizi 'Whacko' Mhlongo)
Nhlanhla Ngema ...
Faca Khulu ...
Eddie (as Faca Kulu)
Wendy Mseleku ...
Mary Twala ...
Sarafina's Grandmother
James Mthoba ...
Sarafina's Uncle


As tentions of Apatheid spreads accross South Africa, many students revolts to massive stone throw, a demonstration that comes in a wake of the introduction of Afrikanas language as a means of teaching. This sparks riots among school age young people who have resolved to do what it takes for freedom to come tomorrow. In a township of Soweto, a group of students, led by a young beautiful and intelligent girl Sarafina, mastermind a plot to rise against the Apatheid regime by velmently rejecting the proposal to have Africanas as a medium of instruction and this angers the white people and results in a massive unrest of the students and those others supporting them. Mean while, Sarafina's mother accepts a job of a housekeeper in a white woman and somehow it angers Sarafina. Following the unrest of students and therd possible torture and trial, Sarafina is realesed from prison, reunites with some of the coleagues and composes a "Freedom is Coming Tomorrow" song. Written by Isaac Museka Lupupa

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She was their teacher. They were her hope. See more »


Drama | Musical

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for scenes of apartheid-driven violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

25 September 1992 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Sarafina! Il profumo della libertà  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$7,306,242 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The original Broadway production of "Sarafina!" opened at the Cort Theater in New York on January 28, 1988, ran for 597 performances and was nominated for the 1988 Tony Awards for the Best Musical and Score. Dumisani Dlamini, Leleti Khumalo, Nhlanhla Ngema and 'Mbongeni Ngema' recreated their roles in the movie version. A nomination for the 1988 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical went to Leleti Khumalo. See more »


Sarafina: Come on, Nelson. Why can't I be a star? What does a star do? Nothing. Look at the camera, flash! Smile at the camera, flash! Look at everybody, big eyes! Say nothing. Stars don't do, stars just be.
See more »


Written by Mbongeni Ngema
Performed by Thandi Zulu
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User Reviews

Full of joy and tears - what a gem!
28 December 2002 | by (North East England) – See all my reviews

I bought this cheap from the rental remnant at our local store. It was in almost mint condition, and I'd never heard of it before. Clearly nobody else had either.

I can't believe my luck. You go through the whole realm of emotions and it attempts to get over a complex message - the very moral and non-triumphalist stance of the Mandela Party, undoubtedly. Despite its enormous length (I had to watch it in two sittings) - it was like a book one couldn't put down. Perhaps the songs are not all that memorable, but the spirit of the thing glows on forever. I cannot understand comments that a musical (clearly designed for stage) is not realistic! I've seen "South Pacific" and read the book too, and can guarantee that musical is not realistic compared to the book. I'll treasure this little find until it wears out. One day they'll make this again on a better budget.

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