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Indian dubs Tamil film in South Africa's Zulu language

Saturday, November 26, 2005 • Tamil Comments

An Indian in South Africa has initiated a new genre of filmmaking by dubbing a highly popular Tamil film into the indigenous Zulu language.

KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Minister of Arts and Culture Narend Singh here has lauded the efforts of producer and distributor Srinivasalu Shyamkumar, who is dubbing the hit film "Priyasakhi" into the indigenous Zulu language.

Shyamkumar started screening Tamil and Telugu films here earlier this year. He revived the screenings after two decades here.

Zulu-speaking actors, actresses and singers are being used to dub the film. Songs will also be translated and recorded into the local language by leading Zulu singers Busi Mhlongo and Sibongiseni Shabalala.

Zulu is the largest of the eleven official languages in South Africa, after English.

Shyamkumar says he decided to dub the film because there are so many similarities between the Indian and Zulu culture, in the traditional family system and values.

"The film 'Priyasakhi' focuses on the conflict between traditional and western culture and how it is overcome. Which is why I believe that the dubbed version will be taken in well by Zulu audiences here," Shyamkumar said.

To make the film accessible, Shyamkumar plans to take it into rural areas using a van with a portable screen.

Shyamkumar, who runs the company 21st Century Innovation, also has long-term plans that go beyond dubbing Indian films into indigenous languages.

There are plans to produce Zulu films here, which would be dubbed into Indian languages for distribution in the Indian market.

This initiative has been welcomed by the minister, who says it would not only create more employment in the province, but could also make Zulu artists, many of whom have huge followings in South Africa, popular in India.

KwaZulu-Natal province has been popular with Indian filmmakers for a number of years now because of its idyllic locales that include scenic mountains, warm beaches and favorable weather conditions for most of the year.

But until now, mostly Hindi filmmakers have taken advantage of this.