Chicco Twala's Movie About Controversial ANC's Nomvula Mokonyane Rejected by TV Stations

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Renowned filmmaker Sello "Chicco" Twala has made a significant decision regarding his highly anticipated movie, previously titled "The Fall And Rise Of Mama Action," which drew inspiration from the life of prominent politician and ANC Deputy General Secretary, Nomvula Mokonyane. Due to political implications surrounding the project, Twala has opted to change the film's name, as major TV stations and streaming services were reluctant to commission it.

Sources close to the production reveal that Mokonyane herself was aware of the movie and had expressed interest in learning if her name would be mentioned. The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), initially committed to commissioning the film, had a change of heart upon realizing that it involved a high-profile figure. The influence of the ANC, particularly within the SABC, was cited as a significant factor influencing the decision. Additionally, Twala faced challenges in taking the movie to MultiChoice, as he had been involved in a previous dispute with the satellite television service.

The film boasts a cast that includes controversial personalities such as Kelly Khumalo and Khanyi Mbau, as well as the legendary singer, actress, and former Idols judge, Mara Louw. Other notable actors joining the project are Ntshepiseng Montshiwa, Fiona Chimusasa, King Jange, and Owen Madiba. Twala expressed his desire for the movie to reach an international audience, explaining, "We shot new scenes, and we are currently incorporating them with the existing footage."


The newly titled film, "Worse Than Apartheid," marks a strategic move aimed at facilitating an international release and potential participation in film festivals. Although Twala remained tight-lipped about the exact reasons behind the name change, he assured audiences that the content of the movie would remain unchanged.

Nomvula Mokonyane's involvement in the Bosasa corruption scandal during the State Capture Commission adds a layer of relevance to the film's subject matter. Testifying at the inquiry in 2020, Angelo Agrizzi implicated Mokonyane, alleging that she had received security upgrades worth R40,000 for her Krugersdorp home. Agrizzi also claimed that Mokonyane had been receiving monthly payments from Bosasa, and he personally witnessed the late Bosasa CEO, Gavin Watson, deliver a bag filled with cash to her residence. Further allegations included Mokonyane receiving food parcels and donations from Bosasa for her son's burial. Mokonyane has consistently denied these accusations.

In a previous interview, Twala shed light on the film's premise, explaining that it revolves around the true events of "Mama Action" and a disgruntled rubble collector who holds her and some corrupt politicians accountable for the destruction of his life. Twala shared that the character of Jimmy Sbu Kandaba, Mama Action's boyfriend, embodies one of these corrupt politicians who steals the wife of the rubble collector.

Twala acknowledges that the movie may stir controversy within political circles, but he firmly believes that it is crucial to engage in open discussions about corruption. He emphasized that while the film may tackle sensitive subjects, it does not defame any individuals.

As "Worse Than Apartheid" takes shape, audiences eagerly anticipate its release, hoping it will serve as a catalyst for broader conversations surrounding corruption and the impact of political malfeasance on society.


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