Sarafina! 29 years old

She was their teacher. They were her hope.


The plot centers on students involved in the Soweto Riots, in opposition to the implementation of Afrikaans as the language of instruction in schools. The stage version presents a school uprising similar to the Soweto uprising on June 16, 1976. A narrator introduces several characters among them the school girl activist Sarafina. Things get out of control when a policeman shoots several pupils in a classroom. Nevertheless, the musical ends with a cheerful farewell show of pupils leaving school, which takes most of act two. In the movie version Sarafina feels shame at her mother's (played by Miriam Makeba in the film) acceptance of her role as domestic servant in a white household in apartheid South Africa, and inspires her peers to rise up in protest, especially after her inspirational teacher, Mary Masombuka (played by Whoopi Goldberg in the film version) is imprisoned.


Sarafina! Cast

Name Character
Whoopi Goldberg She was 36, now 66 years old as Mary Masembuko
John Kani He was 49, now 79 years old as School Principal
Greg Latter He was 37, now 66 years old as Policeman
Robert Whitehead He was 169, 82 years old when he died as Interrogator
Miriam Makeba She was 60, 76 years old when she died as Angelina
Mary Twala She was 53, now 82 years old as Sarafina's Grandmother
James Whyle as Soldier
Tertius Meintjes as Lieutenant Bloem
Leleti Khumalo She was 22, now 52 years old as Sarafina
Michelle Bestbier as Mrs. Hendricks
Dumisani Dlamini as Crocodile

Sarafina! Crew

Name Department
David M. Thompson as Producer. He was 42 (now 71) years old Production
William Nicholson as Screenplay. He was 120 (77) years old when He died Writing
Megan Gill as First Assistant Editor. Editing
Emilia Roux as Set Decoration. Art
Darrell James Roodt as Director. He was 30 (now 60) years old Directing
Anant Singh as Producer. He was 36 (now 66) years old Production
Helena Spring as Executive Producer. Production
Debra-Lee Davidson as Makeup Artist. Costume & Make-Up
Stanley Myers as Music. He was 61 (63) years old when He died Sound
Kirk D'Amico as Executive Producer. Production
Mark Vicente as Cinematography. He was 27 (now 57) years old Crew
Peter Hollywood as Editor. Editing
David Heitner as Editor. Editing
David Barkham as Production Design. Art
Sudhir Pragjee as Executive Producer. Production
Sanjeev Singh as Executive Producer. Production
Sarafina! poster
Sarafina! (29 years)

She was their teacher. They were her hope.

  • Release day: Friday, September 18, 1992
  • Runtime: 117 minutes