Strictly Come Dancing star Johannes Radebe’s memoir, Jojo: Finally Home, is being adapted into a feature film.
UK/US-based production company Arrested Industries will cover development, finance, and distribution alongside Helena Spring Films.
Under the working title Finally Home, the film will closely follow the book in which Radebe recounts his life experience growing up in Zamdela, a township in South Africa, as a young boy with a passion for dance, to becoming a major TV celebrity. It also covers the prejudice he faced from the community and the loss of his father as a child.
Kimble, Arrest Industries CEO, said: “Jojo’s memoir was one of my favourite books of last year, so I am delighted to now have this opportunity and work alongside Helena to develop it for the screen. At its core, his story is a hugely heartwarming coming-of-age tale, but it also conveys so many interesting themes around identity, acceptance, community and, of course, family.
“Our ambition is to do the book – and Jojo - justice by producing a bold, colourful and thoroughly entertaining film that leaves audiences of all ages with big smiles on their faces. And, as Jojo has agreed to be part of the team, we should readily be able to fully infuse the film with his immense warmth and winning personality.”
Spring added: “South Africa is increasingly becoming a go-to location for international film and TV, with the world recognising that we not only have a skilled talent base but also so many brilliant stories to tell. Finally Home, while clearly an incredible personal story, will also provide insights into contemporary culture in South Africa and portray facets of community life in the townships that are rarely seen on screen.”
Radebe commented: “Growing up gay in the townships of South Africa was not an easy ride, but there were so many good things about my life there, and it has made me the person I am today. I never imagined my story would end up on the big screen, so I am greatly appreciative of this new opportunity and look forward to working closely with Helena and Anthony over the coming months.”