Tsotsi makers give something back to the community

With Oscar fever in the air, it was fitting for the producers of the first South African flick to win the sought after statue to return to the Soweto location where they filmed Tsotsi.

The beneficiaries are sports-crazy learners at Mhluvuko Primary School in Soweto who can now show off their skills on a brand new soccer field that was built by the Tsotsi producers.

A large part of Tsotsi was shot in the area surrounding the school near Kliptown, and the producers thought it would be fitting to give something back to the community that had opened its arms to the film crew.

“We spent quite a bit of time in the area during the making of the film, and we had always intended on showing our appreciation to the community in some way,” explains Paul Raleigh, co-producer of the film.

Raleigh and his team had initially wanted to provide the school with a computer room, but the school authorities were adamant that a soccer field would be the better option.

“After the relative commercial success of the film, we approached the school to see how we could assist them, and they asked for a soccer field for the youngsters,” he explains.

After several weeks of intensive earth moving and landscaping, the field was officially opened to the community a few days ago.

The opening celebration was marked by a song and dance performance by learners at the school and thank you speeches by youngsters who were itching to try out their new sporting facility.

“he response we got to the field was just remarkable,” says Raleigh. “The school is situated in a really poor area and it brought great joy to see how much it meant to the local community.”

“You don’t often get to do fun things in business but this was really a great experience for us and hopefully our relationship with the school will continue for a long time.”

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