Busiswa’s rise to fame to be showcased at film festival

A documentary featuring gqom musician Busiswa Gqulu is reportedly among the films that will be showcased at the annual Africa Rising International Film Festival (ARIFF).

According to an insider of the film festival, the Ngoku hitmaker will be the subject of a 45-minute biopic chronicling her trials growing up in the Eastern Cape up to when she recorded a hit single with Beyonce.

“It’s an in-depth doccie that looks into her being at Kalawa Jazzmee, motherhood, owning a record label and international recognition,” said the insider.

When asked for comment, Gqulu referred enquiries to her public relations agent Gabi Mbele, who said the gqom queen had no knowledge of the documentary and was confused about how Sunday World had learnt about the deal.

“She believes we may be confusing her with someone else,” said Mbele.

“We still need to talk to the organisers and establish if this was a deal made while Busiswa was with Kalawa,” she said.

Busiswa announced her departure from record label Kalawa Jazmee to start her own record label, Majesty Music, in May.

However, organisers say the documentary is still on the cards for the screenings taking place from November 26-30.

“Following our engagement and discussion with the producers of said documentary, we are of the understanding that the documentary will form part of this year’s films screening programme.

And we hope that this is still the case as we would continue with our quest for inclusion and participation at this year’s ARIFF film screening
programme,” said the co-chairperson Lala Tuku.

ARIFF began last year as a pre-event to the Global Festival Week in SA and the Mandela 100 Festival.

The film festival is organised by film producer Kweku Mandela and Ayanda Sithebe of Actor Spaces alongside Sdumo Mtshali and Pallance Dladla.

Tuku said this year’s focus had shifted and was now about transformation.

“It’s about women, youth, queer members of our society, people living with disabilities and its really about taking voices in the margins and bringing them forward,” she said.

“[We must] continue to have the right conversations because I think last year was a very successful installment for us having done it the first time. What we saw was that there is an appetite for this and our stories.”

By Nokuthula Zwane

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