AFDA alumnus Norman Maake’s new movie ‘Inkabi’ hits Netflix worldwide soon

Mar 8, 2024 | Alumni, Film School, News

‘Inkabi’ (The Hitman) written and directed by AFDA alumnus Norman Maake is set to premiere on Netflix worldwide on the 13 March. The film is one of 6 micro-budget projects supported through a joint film fund by Netflix and the National Film and Video Foundation (NFVF).  Fellow AFDA alumni Chuanne Blofield (cinematographer} and Tongai Furusa (editor) worked on ‘Inkabi’ with Norman.

‘Inkabi’ was inspired by the real-life stories of the Zulu hitmen who come from the villages of deep, rural Natal. Most of these men leave the villages chasing dreams of becoming Maskandi musicians but most fall short and never make it to stage and trade the guitar for the gun to become hitmen.

In an interview with The Citizen Newspaper Norman said: “It helps when you have a movie where the theme is topical, but I think South Africans will be interested in the film because of such things… and because of how we are affected by violence I think that dealing with inkabi or hitmen in the fiction space is something very appealing because it’s something that exists here at home. For me, what is important in the film is the authenticity. That it is a story coming from Africa by Africans.”

The story revolves around Frank, a retired hitman, who has chosen to disappear and start his life as a private taxi driver. He befriends Lucy a young woman working at a shady downtown casino. After losing custody of her child Angela, Lucy is back on a downward spiral of drugs and high-class prostitution. One night she witnesses the murder of one of her clients, a prominent Millionaire. Lucy manages to escape but the killer is out for her blood. She has no one to turn to except Frank her only friend. Frank has only killed for money but now he must kill to protect the only person who never had anybody to stand up for her. However, he realizes that by breaking cover, he will become a target.

The film stars Tshamo Sebe (Angeliena, Of Good Report) as Frank and Michelle Tiren (Famous, Volume) as Lucy with Dumisani Dlamini (The Wife, Yizo Yizo), Muzi Mthabela (Shaka Ilembe, Jacob’s Cross) and Kenneth Nkosi (Blessers, Five Fingers for Marseilles).

Norman made his first short film, Home Sweet Home (1999) while studying at AFDA. He also made his feature film directorial debut at AFDA with Soldiers of the Rock (2003) – winner of Best Screenplay at PAFF 2003 and the Mario Van Peebles Award in 2004, and Lionel Ngakane Award for best young director at the Sithengi film festival. Since then, he has directed the features Love Lives Here (2019) Piets Sake (2021) and Abafana Ababi (2022) For television, Norman has directed It’s Complicated (Season 1 & 2) 2015/17 Mutual Friends (Season 1&2) 2014 /16 Skeem Saam (Season 1) 2012 and Judas Kiss (2020).

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