John Kani
A new South African movie that features big names such as John Kani and Jamie Bartlett premieres in South Africa this month (February 2010).

White Lion is already making waves since it has been nominated by The South African Film and Television Awards (Saftas) for several awards, including Best Cinematography, Best Music Score and Best Sound Engineering.

It is directed by Michael Swan and produced by our very own famous animal behaviourist Kevin Richardson. (In Focus carried out an in-depth interview with Richardson on the making of the film in our March 2009 issue. To read this and see visuals, click here)


The movie, which is set for release on February 19, is about the adventurous journey of a rare white lion cub, who rises above many hurdles to become one of the most powerful and revered lions in Africa.

The story is simple and straight forward.

According to Shangaan legend white lions are the messengers of the gods, but it has been years since one has been seen in their remote African valley.

When a white lion is miraculously born in the valley, a young Shangaan named Gisani finds himself destined to protect this rare and magnificent creature.

This young lion, Letsatsi, is cast from his pride and forced to embark on a perilous journey of survival.

Close to starvation Letsatsi befriends Nkulu, an older lion, and together they learn how to survive in the harsh African bush.
Gisani, who is watching over Letsatsi, takes a job as tracker with a local hunter, who has his sights set on leading the hunt for this rare and magnificent white lion.

Gisani, guided by fate, believes he must find a way to prevent this tragedy from happening.

When Nkulu is killed by a farmer Letsatsi is forced once again to survive on his own.

After many trials and tribulations he finally learns to hunt by himself and grows into a magnificent adult.

But before he can take over a pride of his own, Letsatsi and Gisani must face their greatest challenge, the trophy hunter, for whom legends are worthless and rare skins priceless.

This is a movie you should certainly look forward to with keen interest.

Source: Article by Edward Tsumele, which appeared in the Sowetan on 14 January, http://www.sowetan.co.za/Entertainment/Article.aspx?id=1104285