Legend of Vera the ghost inspires new SA horror film

Siphiwe Mtshali (Themba), Nonkululeko Madlala (Kedi) and Gideon Lovinga (Mario) act out a scene from the SA horror film Vera the Ghost./ANTONIO MUCHAVE
Siphiwe Mtshali (Themba), Nonkululeko Madlala (Kedi) and Gideon Lovinga (Mario) act out a scene from the SA horror film Vera the Ghost./ANTONIO MUCHAVE

The story of Soweto urban legend Vera the ghost has been turned into a horror film.

Titled Vera the Ghost, the film is written and directed by award-winning director Martin Koboekae, who has directed many TV shows including Ga re Dumeli.

He said he was drawn to the story of Vera because he loved horror stories. He has directed horror films such as Take Me Home and Dana's Death Day Party for Mzansi Magic.

The stars of the horror film include former Rhythm City star Siphiwe Mtshali, Gideon Lovinga, Nonkululeko Madlala, Onthatile Tawana, who plays Vera, Nolwandle Madlala and Job Kubatsi.

"I have always liked horror stories and stories that define us as black people. Vera's story was no exception for me. I started doing the research last year and I realised that people knew the story but told different versions of it.

"I spoke to different people but I decided to add my own understanding of the story as a playwright. My story was shot inside a house while Vera terrorised people outside."

Koboekae said Vera the Ghost explores the spirit of sinfully beautiful Vera, who is claimed to have haunted Vincent Road and Odendaal Street in Meadowlands, Soweto, in the 1950s and 60s.

He said Vera targeted night riders and people who were frequenting shebeens and the famous Lily cinema in Meadowlands.

"This film unfolds in present time, as Soweto hunk and accountant Themba Msindile is caught up in a complex situation after a one-night stand after a party."

The film was shot in Walkerville, south of Johannesburg, and in Soweto.

Vera the Ghost will premier early next year due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

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