Like a South African version of Roma, Siyabonga guides us at a leisurely pace through the real life adventures of aspiring actor Siyabonga Majola. One day he hears the surprising news that a movie is to be made in a nearby town and makes it his mission to be a part of the film.  Based on real events re-enacted by those who lived through them, Siyabonga is at times funny, at times bittersweet, at times painful, but always thoughtful.  More than any movie we’ve screened at VSAFF in the last few years, Siyabonga illuminates the day-to-day life of a semi-rural township.  No flash, no melodrama, no cinematic tricks.  Just reality.

What the critics say…

“For those who still firmly believe that cinema is the place where urgent and essential aspects of life can be shown most naturally, then Joshua Magor’s Siyabonga (We Are Thankful) is a must-see.” Lorenzo Esposito – Locarno Film Festival

“We Are Thankful and its protagonists are genuine, real and undeniably lovely in their authenticity.”  Paige Zuckerman – Slug Magazine

“For hardcore cinephiles who are used to sensational South-African films depicting abominable racism, vehement violence and toxic masculinity, Siyabonga… is like a breezy wind… which makes us smile …”  Saitosuta- MUBI

“Emotional intensity and humour alternate constantly, and create a delightful rhythm .… the camera throws a slow and apparently distant sight on a reality that can always astonish us.”  Giuseppe Di Salvatore – Film Explorer


  • Locarno Film Festival
  • Cape Town International Film Market and Festival
  • Sudan Independent Film Festival
  • Slamdance Film Festival
  • Barbican Chronic Youth Film Festival
Director: Joshua Magor
Producer: Joshua Magor, Bronwyn Coburn
Running time: 94 minutes - Feature
Language: Zulu with subtitles
Rating: PG

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