Zimbabwean film ‘Riding with Sugar’ is now available on Netflix

Sunu Gonera is a Zimbabwean film director who juxtaposes the polished appeal of box-office hits with what he describes as the “realness and rawness of Africa”. He recently hogged the limelight with a movie about Family and identity titled "Riding with Sugar" which debuted on Netflix in late November 2020 and is now streaming in Africa, South America and the Middle East.  

Zimbabwe film on netflix  ‘Riding with Sugar’

“I’ve always wanted to bring us Africans to the point where we say, ‘I have a place at this table, my dreams matter, my story matters, what I think matters.’ That’s a huge part of my activism. I feel we have to trust that we have the goods.” Gonera says

"Riding with Sugar" screened at Cannes in 2006 and eventually, thanks to Netflix, Gonera was able to shoot his own full-length feature script on location in Cape Town last summer. 

Zimbabwean film ‘Riding with Sugar’ Is Now On Netflix
Director Sunu Gonera and Director of Photography Rory O'Grady on location in Cape Town with Riding With Sugar

The film's storyline is about a young Zimbabwean refugee Joshua whose dreams crashed into reality after witnessing his parents being killed during a conflict. 

The young boy is living as an asylum seeker in Cape Town and quickly makes a decision, one that would rewrite his wrongs or prove his fate right. As painful memories spin in his head, Joshua pedals toward a new future under a charitable mentor when fate challenges his BMX racing hopes.

“It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, and also the most joyful,” Gonera says.

Sunu Gonera grew up in Zimbabwe in the 70s and attended Falcon College in Esigodini. He fell in love with film watching Saturday screenings of Clint Eastwood westerns and Bruce Lee movies

The Zimbabwean director first arrived in South Africa on a scholarship to the University of Cape Town
where he studied for a bachelor's degree in Organizational Psychology leading to a lucrative banking career which he eventually abandoned to pursue his dream of acting and making movies. He started off as a runner in the industry before working his way up to directing TV commercials which blossomed within three short years, gaining him several prestigious directing awards

Sunu Gonera landed his first Hollywood full-length feature directing assignment with Lionsgate for a film titled 'Pride' starring Academy Award nominees Terrence Howard, Bernie Mac, Tom Arnold and Kimberley Elise.

"I am the first man in my family with a formal education, my father could not read or write, and education was not accessible to the poor and enslaved working class. A person armed with knowledge has all the weapons they need, this is what I believe is my purpose - to shine a light on the young African minds of the future through education. Everybody has a story to tell. What is yours?" Says Sunu Gonera

Mungwadzi Godwin

twitterinstagramI like sharing positive stories about Zimbabweans at home and abroad. I also write articles on Personal Finance, Fashion, Music, and Tech. Let's connect!

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