TorinoFilmLab - Training, development, Funding



Zamo Mkhwanazi

South Africa


16-year-old Khuthala is being groomed to take over the family business. But Khuthala wants to be a musician and he desperately wants to escape his father’s laundry, where he has wasted most of his childhood.
When the laundry is threatened under the racist laws of South Africa’s apartheid government, Khuthala’s heady youthful rebellion is brought to a sobering crash as he grapples with witnessing his father ripped from the business he has dedicated his life to.
As the family stumbles and implodes, Khuthala begins to understand that the laundry is the anchor of their lives. Khuthala’s own ambitions are swiped out of reach as the apartheid state infiltrates and destroys his dreams and his family loses the very laundry he hates, but which is an inextricable part of his middle-class identity.


The story of this film began around the recent xenophobic attacks of 2015 by South Africans on African immigrants, questioning why South Africans do not want to work hard and achieve their own success instead of burning, to the ground, foreign-owned shops.
For me, the story of my mother’s family took on a different significance. It occurred to me that this was an example of how the spirit of enterprise was systemically – from one unjust law to another – destroyed in the people of South Africa, and how so many continue to be prisoners of this manufactured psyche. A type of insanity that continues one generation after the other.
Around 1992, most sanctions against South Africa were lifted. This allowed the white minority, who owned the entirety of the economy, to trade with the world and accumulate more wealth. With increased white power, and the world no longer paying attention, certain aspects of apartheid have become even more entrenched. Therefore this story also reflects the realities of many black South Africans in the present. Without a doubt, this would be my most personal film to date. But this is also the story of many ordinary South African families.


1968, South Africa Apartheid. The Sithole family are about to lose their business.
Zamo Mkhwanazi

Scriptwriter, Film Director

production notes

original title

directed by
Zamo Mkhwanazi

produced byRififi Pictures
138 Clovelly Rd
2193, Johannesburg
South Africa

total production budget
€ 1.000.000