Experiencing Interruptions?

Zulu Return

In this Internet era, what happens to an iconic DJ when, at the height of his celebrity, he is made to fall from grace? What does he do when he is accused of a gross violation but can never face his accuser before a court of law to defend himself?

  • gugulethu
    Sonny Rollins Beyond the Notes
  • gugulethu
    Diaspora Calling
  • gugulethu
  • Afrika Bambaataa
    Key Cast
  • Themba Vilakazi
  • Masego Mathebula
  • DemiMa
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Feature
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 30 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    November 5, 2019
  • Country of Origin:
    South Africa
  • Country of Filming:
    South Africa, United Kingdom, United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Encounters International Documentary Film Festival
    Cape Town
    South Africa
    June 14, 2019
    World Premiere
    Official Selection
  • UGU Film Festival
    South Africa
    January 26, 2020
  • Aswan International Women Film Festival
    January 23, 2019
    work-in-progress screening
Director Biography - gugulethu

gugulethu is a first-time director, with an axe to grind about African women's representation in history. She has produced a feature documentary with director Dick Fontaine for BBC Arena, about the living saxophone legend, “Sonny Rollins Beyond the Notes’.
gugulethu presented and produced a two-part television programme with director George Amponsah for Press TV and has produced short films for Channel 4 and two fiction shorts with directors Rainer Niermann and Kyle Simpson. She has also produced, shot and edited several short films depicting UK life.
Before entering the film industry in 2009, gugulethu ran a social development enterprise that worked with South African women in advocacy and rural development. She is a member of the International Association of Women in Radio and Television and has worked as a broadcast journalist for BBC local radio.
gugulethu obtained an honour’s degree in History and Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Her aim is to tell historical stories from an African female perspective and to push past current accepted theories of our common past.

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Director Statement

With Afrika Bambaataa as our conduit, Zulu Return touches on themes that are important to me. It is the result of sticking to the maxim of innocence until proven guilt and it seeks an African approach to a problem that risks never being solved by the conventional Western legal system.
Zulu Return also reminds us of the people who sacrificed their individual freedoms to stand up against the indecency being inflicted upon us under apartheid. It connects the music I'’ve loved since childhood, rap, with amaZulu and touches on an unspoken aspect of Zulu history, that of King Shaka sending people to distant lands.
Although it's a film about the male experience, Zulu Return also strives to let the female voice be heard, through the music and poetry, the narration and graphics and that all important "gate to the Spirit world", isangoma, the oracle.