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By Bonginkosi Tiwane

Digital Journalist


Inkabi film director elated with recognition of hitmen movie by KZN Film and TV Awards

Inkabi was inspired by the real-life stories of Zulu hitmen who come from the villages of deep, rural Natal.


Film director Norman Maake has described nominations for his movie Inkabi at this year’s Simon Mabhunu Sabela KwaZulu-Natal Film and TV Awards as meaningful.

This, he said, is because the story speaks about hitmen, who are predominantly from the province.

“I’m ecstatic, it took me by surprise, these are the first awards to recognise the film,” Maake told The Citizen.

Inkabi, which was released on Netflix in March, was inspired by the real-life stories of Zulu hitmen who come from the villages of deep, rural Natal.

The film doesn’t only deal with violence involving hitmen, but the ubiquity and normality of violence in South African society.

The Simon Mabhunu Sabela KZN Film and Television Awards recognise outstanding achievement and excellence within the South African film and television industry, focusing on KZN.

Nominees include actors, producers, directors, and various film and television technicians.

ALSO READ: Film director Norman Maake on telling the hitman’s story in new movie ‘Inkabi’

Inkabi is nominated in two categories and with three nominations. Maake is quite pleased with the Best Pan African Film nomination.

 “For me it’s a nod, to be nominated for these awards because I’m not from there but the story resonated with people there. It also shows that the story is than that region,” averred the director.

Inkabi cast members Nkosinathi Keswa and Muzi Mthabela received nods in the Best Supporting Actor category.

“We spoke to Nkosinathi and Muzi and they’re also happy. They [actors] don’t hear it enough that they’re good and this recognition is incredible.”

Inkabi: A universal story

After its release in March the film was shown at the BRICS Film Festival as well as Kenya’s Kalasha Film Festival.

“The people loved it. The hitmen story is quite universal…I remember when we showed it in Kenya the audience said when we do part two of the film, it should be set in Kenya because of the hitmen in that country,” said Maake.

The director said he’s still talking to other festivals, to show it to more audiences. “These conversations with the audience are about which characters stood out for them and what they would’ve liked to see more of,” averred Maake.

Maake, who has directed films such as Love Lives Here, Piet’s Sake and Soldiers of the Rock said he is currently developing the sequel of Inkabi.

“People have said they would like to see more action, so the sequel could go into that direction.”

ALSO READ: Film festival pays homage to class of ’76 through opportunity to young filmmakers

Top award nominations

Popular TV show Shaka Ilembe leads with the most nominations at the Simon Mabhunu Sabela KZN Film and Television Awards with nods in Best Actor TV, Best Actress TV, Best Supporting Actress, Best Production Design categories just to name a few .

Nominated house hold names include Nomzamo Mbatha, Deli Malinga, Hope Mbele, Thembinkosi Mthembu, Wiseman Mncube and Kwenzo Ngcobo each recognised for their exceptional contributions to the industry.

Lelethi Khumalo is nominated in the Best Actress in Film category for her showing in Dear Future Wife.

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