Somizi’s Mother; Mary Twala Wins An Award At An International Film Festival Even After Passing On

Mary Twala, the legendary actress was called to glory on the 4th of July, having lived for 80 years. Undoubtedly, she was one of the finest actresses South Africa has produced. Mary Twala won the award for the best actress at the 44th annual Hong Kong International Film Festival.

The film by Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese titled, ”This is not a burial, it’s a resurrection” bagged three awards including the award for the best film accolade, it also won an award for young cinema competition (world) . This award is for crafting ”a universal story of an African village caught between its history, tradition and the encroachment of the 21st century”, and Mary Twala who plays the role of a fearless widow in the film, won the award for best actress.

Somizi Mhlongo the proud son of the legend, who is also one of the judges for the popular singing competition; SA Idol, took to his Instagram to appreciate the body who awarded his mother with the award. He further went ahead to say, ”This is not a burial, this is a resurrection”, and meant it literally, not just saying it because that is the title of the movie that bagged the award, he also went ahead to caption the post, ”she didn’t die….she multiplied…she stays winning” referring to his mother.

The statement above made by the late actress’s son, can be said to be true, as the film also received a commendation from the jury for ”its highly original combination of approaches that invokes ancient storytelling traditions for its modern tale of grief channelled into social action”, and not only did it get a great review from the jury, this year’s FIPRESCI prize.

The film by the Lesotho-born, Jeremiah Mosese features Mary Twala who plays Mantoa who loses her last child to a mining accident, and also makes preparation to also die by calling a man to dig her grave and tidying things up. For Mantoa, living in the world was a half in and half out situation, as she says ”This is not a death march: this is the march of the living and the dead”. The two-hour movie occupies the existential interstice implied by the title, ”This is not a burial, it’s a resurrection”.

Mary Twala has featured in several South African local productions, such as, ”Ubizo: The Calling”, ”Hopeville”, ”Ma Dolly”, ”Vaya”,”Comatose”, ”Sarafina” to mention a few. 

Interestingly, the movie that has bagged the late legend an award even in her death, will open the Durban International Film Festival next month. Just like her son said, Mary Twala didn’t die, she multiplied and she stays winning” 


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