Sarafina! is a South African musical by Mbongeni Ngema depicting students involved in the Soweto Riots, in opposition to apartheid. It was also adapted into the 1992 movie starring Leleti Khumalo, Whoopi Goldberg, Miriam Makeba, John Kani and Tertius Meintjies.
The plot centers on students involved in the Soweto Riots, in opposition to apartheid; the story is told from the point of view of an ambitious school girl actress-activist named Sarafina. She feels shame at her mother's acceptance of her role as domestic servant in a white household in apartheid South Africa (played by Miriam Makeba in the film), and inspires her peers to rise up in protest, especially after her inspirational teacher, Mary Masembuko (played by Whoopi Goldberg in the film version) is imprisoned.
Leleti Khumalo received a Tony Award nomination as well as a NAACP Image Award for her Broadway portrayal of the title character.
It's theme is political, but presents a clear picture of the events of June 16, 1976.
Director's Cut Released
Sarafina! was re-released in South Africa on 16 June 2006 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the youth uprisings in Soweto. The re-mastered director’s cut is not much different from the original, except for the inclusion of one scene that was cut from the original, between Leleti Khumalo (Sarafina) and Miriam Makeba (Sarafina's mother), which includes a musical number Thank You Mama.