Story of SS Mendi comes to life in new film

A film called Troopship Tragedy was premiered a couple of weeks ago, telling the story of the SS Mendi.

The SS Mendi was a British steamship, originally a passenger vessel but later used as a troopship to carry soldiers to the front in World War One.

Listen to the full conversation below:

In February 1917 the Mendi was struck by a larger cargo ship while sailing. The ship sank, killing 646 people; most of those victims were black South African soldiers.

Years later, Sabido Productions commissioned Marion Edmunds to create a story around the sinking of the SS Mendi.

I didn’t know about the story before the commission handed it to me. It was enormous challenge to tell it.

Marion Edmunds

She worked with Zwai Mgijima, a young playwright from the Eastern Cape to bring the story to life.


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