Tshepiso Makhele
2 minute read
21 Jun 2016
5:38 pm

Khabonina to star in local film

Tshepiso Makhele

Local crime drama Dora's Peace takes film audiences into the mean streets of Hillbrow.

Image courtesy of https://www.facebook.com/khaboninaq

There’s a new local film, shot on location in Johannesburg, and releasing in August 2016. It focuses on a woman determined to do anything she sets her mind to, even though she finds herself living in difficult circumstances. Dora’s Peace, starring Khabonina Qubeka and directed by Kosta Kalarytis, tells the story of Dora, a Hillbrow sex worker, who sets out to save a gifted young boy from the violent clutches of organised crime. In the process, she is forced to rediscover aspects of her own lost humanity.

Yes, she’s a hooker, but she’s also smart, sassy and tough as nails. Now in her forties, she has seen it all. She’s sold her body on the streets, been locked up and used by the cops, abused and beaten by customers, but it wasn’t always like that. Once she had been in demand, and even in a relationship with Stavro, a Greek bookie, who she still sees occasionally. Into her solitary existence comes 12-year-old Peace, a talented artist and the son of a druggie neighbour.

Before long Dora will be forced to make a decision – protect Peace from the bad guys or let them win. Dora’s only ally appears to be Ravi, a Rasta-loving Indian taxi driver with a wicked sense of humour. What ensues will thrill and chill audiences, as Dora comes up against her hardest opponent yet, her own true nature.

“The film deals with underworld characters that inhabit Hillbrow,” says Kalarytis. “Aspects of my own Greek background and culture are also incorporated, which I don’t think has been done before in a South African movie. In making the film, the most important aspect was the relationship between Dora and the young boy, Peace. We knew if we could make that work, we stood a good chance of making a great movie.”

The film features an ensemble cast, including Danny Keogh (Invictus, Starship Troopers 3: Marauder), Hlubi Mboya (iNumber Number, How to Steal 2 Million), Ronnie Nyakale (Jerusalema, Blood Diamond), and 12-year-old Paballo Koza (Thola, The Blanket).

Khabonina is a familiar face on South African television and has been nominated multiple times for her roles in series including Muvhango, The Lab, The Wild and Rhythm City. Her first TV role was as the controversial Doobsie on SABC2’s Muvhango, and then she quickly followed up with more roles in The Mating Game and Erfsondes. She also starred in the successful theatre production The Table.

Currently she is playing the role of Nina Zamdela in the popular soapie Isidingo on SABC3. Aside from her television and feature film work, she is also a dancer, presenter and musician. Dora’s Peace sees her take the lead role in a film for the first time.

The film will be distributed in South Africa by Indigenous Film Distribution and is set for release on August 26.