Nothing is ever as it seems in South Africa’s exciting romcom, “A Soweto Love Story”

A Soweto Love Story

Heads up: Spoilers are coming your way.

One thing about finding new movies is the joy of exploring the cultures and systems portrayed in them. That’s why “A Soweto Love Story” caught my attention just from seeing the title. For the movie’s plot, if you’ve seen “A Naija Christmas,” you get the gist. However, with a mix of South African exuberance, A Soweto Love Story delivers drama, romance, suspense, and whimsy that will have you giggling.

In “A Soweto Love Story,” we meet Bongekile, a devout Christian mother with three sons who have not found the need to settle down. But, when confronted with the possibility of losing their childhood home, the race to the alter becomes an entertaining adventure for the three brothers.

The movie “A Soweto Love Story” perfectly encapsulates the ups and downs of trying to get what you want quickly. Sometimes, it works, but other times, it goes very sour. It all depends on how you do it.

Get to know the players

Now, I’m always open to a bit of whimsy here and there, but A Soweto Love Story opens you up a bit more. Picture this: three brothers: one uptight and rule-abiding, one frivolous and a ladies’ man, and the third, daunting with a bit of pep in his step. But when it comes to their mother, the three boys would clearly do anything to make her happy (As long as they get something out of it). Meet the boys:

The prim and proper son

In the movie, Menzi is described as someone who irons his socks and underwear. This immediately establishes him as a nerdy, rule-abiding, and strict person who believes in order and systems; however, Menzi finds that life has a little bit of chaos to offer him when his search for a wife begins.

The ladies man

Have you ever had a friend who couldn’t see a skirt without drooling? Well, that pretty much sums up Sandile, otherwise known as Sandman. In the movie, Sandile loses the chance to propose to his girlfriend because of a careless bra hanging in the backseat of his car. But does the bra belong to a recent fling?

The faux fruity loops

Experimenting with fashion and creating gender-fluid pieces is what everyone expects from queer people. However, no one seems to believe Sky’s statement that he doesn’t lean toward the fruity side. Is it the way he presents or acts? You’ll have to find out.

A Soweto Love Story
Stills from A Soweto Love Story

Themes that stood out in A Soweto Love Story

Finding elements you can relate to in every film is crucial, which is why “A Soweto Love Story” really hits home with its themes.

1. Things won’t always go your way.

The film shows this theme in action, especially through characters like Sandile, Sky, and Menzi. They scramble to make last-minute changes due to their mother’s ultimatum, highlighting a universal truth. It’s a lesson about control – or the lack of it. You see their mother come to understand she can’t fully control her sons. This moment drives home the idea that while we might manage our circumstances to some extent, we can’t control others’ actions or the impact they have on us. It’s a relatable message about accepting the limits of our control over life and people.

For Menzi, staying on the straight and narrow path seemed like the right option. He insisted on trying to control his surroundings and how life affected him. He never wanted to deviate from what appeared to be acceptable or common sense. Only to find out that being scared was what life truly meant. And while having a list of things you want from a partner is great, embracing the chaos is even better.

Stills from ‘A Soweto Love Story’

2. Things are not always as they seem.

Sky is the biggest portrayal of this theme. Scenes of Sky had me cackling throughout the movie. Imagine being labelled as one thing all your life and even being accepted for it when, in reality, you are something else, and no one wants to listen to or believe you. Sky correctly depicts the saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” or, in Sky’s case, “its outfits.”

Also, for Sente, taking things at face value wasn’t to her benefit at the end of the day because Sandile wasn’t lying (I can’t even blame her). Sente only wanted to protect herself, as anyone would, but Sandile had true intentions for her. While taking things at face value is essential for survival, sometimes, some things and some people have more to them than they let on.

Stills from ‘A Soweto Love Story’

3. The truth will always be revealed.

At the end of the day, while the boys tried to hide their true intentions behind the guise of finding love, they realised what they really wanted and who they truly loved came to find them. Sandile realised he only had eyes for Sente, Menzi found true love right before him, and Sky couldn’t keep his hands off his “girlfriend.”

Behind the lies they posed and all the pointless gallivanting and trying to beat the next brother to the possession of the house, they only found peace and true happiness when they accepted their actual realities. Underneath all the lies and pretence, the truth lay there, waiting to be revealed.

Stills from ‘A Soweto Love Story’

As a Nigerian, seeing and embracing the realities of the culture and identity of other Africans through film continues to be an exciting adventure for me. “A Soweto Love Story” is a fantastic movie with an exciting perspective on love in South Africa. It is also clear that marriage and family patterns are closely related, especially for us Africans. So, are you as eager as I am to witness culture through film? Then you should be turning on “A Soweto Love Story” on Netflix.



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