Poppie Nongena: Chronicling incredible bravery of a black lady against apartheid

The Long Journey of Poppie Nongena is a classic piece of South African literature.

It took 40 years for Elsa Joubert's novel to make it to the big screen.

It is the true story of a South African isiXhosa mother, whose life revolves around finding stability for her family during apartheid.

Eusebius McKaiser facilitates a fascinating conversation about this screenplay with actress Anna-Mart van der Merwe, director and writer Christiaan Olwagen, actress Nomsa Nene and broadcaster Sebenzile Nkambule.

When I saw this film, it just moved me in all sorts of ways.

Eusebius McKaiser, Presenter

Watching this movie was heavy and I don't know why I was surprised by that because a South African story is a painful story.

Sebenzile Nkambule, Broadcaster

The movie chronicles the incredible bravery and stoicism of a black woman in the face of apartheid, says McKaiser.

For every black household, there is a Poppie and the madam always has someone to help her look after her children and home. I was drawn to the role because my late grandmother was a Poppie at the time and I saw how she struggled.

Nomsa Nene, Actress - Poppie Nongena

In those days madams had wonderful Poppies that assisted them, but they were also in the shadows and not to be seen. The whole house was clean but these women were quiet and hidden in the shadows.

Anna-Mart van der Merwe, Actress - Poppie Nongena

Clementine Mosimane was an anchor throughout the movie and became the tour guide for the audience, says Olwagen.

Listen below to the full interview about the movie Poppie Nongena:


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