Asinamali, meaning “we have no money” was a phrase coined by ANC activist Msizi Dube, who founded the rent boycott movement upon returning to KwaZulu-Natal after his release from Robben Island. He was assassinated in 1983.
Mbongeni Ngema, who was part of the movement, wrote about the events, with his play, Asinamali, first performed at the Market Theatre in 1985.
He has now transformed the play into a film, and the conversion walks a fine line between realism and musical drama.
Ngema features as director, scriptwriter, lyricist, composer and actor. He plays a theatre director who has returned from exile with the…