A Lucky Man is a movie that tells the story of Ernie Solomons, also known as Lastig. He grew up in Elsies Rivier in the Western Cape, where he committed his first crime when he was 18 years old.
At Pollsmoor Maximum Security Prison, he joined the 28 numbers gang.
Now an ex-con, Solomons is a community leader who works with gang leaders and community members in the Cape Flats to put an end to gang violence. Despite this, he is still seen as one of the most feared gang leaders in the Western Cape.
The movie follows his life, detailing how and why he chose a life of gangsterism. Jared Geduld plays the role of the young Solomons.
“Growing up, I remember Ernie Solomons was one of the most notorious guys. People feared him all over the Western Cape,” he says in a clip about the making of the movie. Playing Solomons was “one of the best characters that I’ve ever played".
The film is currently being previewed on MXit and on its official site in four-minute clips every day at 10am, before its general release on February 29. It is featured on the newly-launched Cinemo app, which is available to all MXit users. This initiative is aimed at getting South Africans talking about the social issues A Lucky Man highlights. It already has added around 90 000 subscribers since its inception in January.
'The power of video'
Marlon Parker, vice-president of MXit Reach, says, “We know the power of video and want to use this to encourage conversations about social issues such as drug abuse, HIV/Aids and gangsterism. Cinemo has three content streams. It has movies, of which A Lucky Man is the first, public service announcements on issues such as condom use, and music videos like Freshlyground’s Take me to the Dance.
The app also has a drug counselling service, where users can get help. Parker says: “We have seen great conversations happen around the social issues raised. These chats are used to raise awareness of and direct users to MXit communities and services where they can get help should they need it. With one click a user can go from a conversation about drug abuse to the Angel Network, our anonymous drug counselling service.”
MXit communications officer Sarah Ricer says the idea is to get people talking about gangsterism, violence and other issues that affect people in society. “Full movies that will be broadcast on MXit through the Cinemo app will always have a social message to engage people on the issues that affect them.”
For more information about the movie visit www.aluckymanthemovie.com.