Thema: A Boy Called Hope

Like many 11-year-old boys in South Africa, Themba dreams of playing for Bafana Bafana, the national football team. When his mother loses her job, she departs their home in rural Eastern Cape to look for work in Cape Town, leaving Themba and his sister in the care of her lover. After Themba undergoes a traumatic experience, he and his sister decide to go to find their mother, even though his football team is on the verge of winning the local junior championships.

In Cape Town, Themba and his sister find their mother dying of Aids. Though he must work to care for the family, Themba does not give up on his dream. Against the odds, he is selected to play for the national under-20 squad. This gives him the strength to come forward and make a courageous public admission.

Thema: A Boy Called Hope (2010)


South Africa / Germany


Xhosa and English, with English subtitles




Stefanie Sycholt

Stefanie Sycholt

Stefanie Sycholt was born in Pretoria and studied at the Universities of Natal and Cape Town. In 1986, she was Media Officer of the National Union of South African Students, and later coordinated an anti-apartheid video unit in Durban. In 1990, after filming Nelson Mandela’s welcome home rally, she went to Munich to study at the University of Television and Film. Her films include the award-winning feature Malunde (2001), which she both wrote and directed.

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