18 and above for ‘The Road to Sunrise’


Finally, Shemu Joyah’s third movie The Road to Sunrise is here. The movie’s premiere is tonight at Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe.

After the Capital City outing, the film goes to Robin’s Park in Blantyre on November 11.

In Lilongwe, people will part ways with K10, 000 at the door while in Blantyre the entry fee is K7, 500.


But the film is strictly for those aged 18 years and above.

“We are ready and everything is in place. It’s time for people to sample The Road to Sunrise. But let me also emphasise that the film is strictly [for those who are] 18 [years] and above,” Joyah said yesterday.

He said part of the cast will be present during the premiere and that Agorosso, who breathed life into the movie through his music, will perform.


The film comes home after premiering at the Silicon Valley African Film Festival in USA. It was held from September 29 to October 1 this year.

The movie has shown its potential and strength by winning the Special Recognition Award for a Narrative Feature Film.

According to Joyah, The Road To Sunrise centres on exploitation, gender-based violence, love, hope, friendship and the untiring human spirit in its quest for survival and freedom.

He said the film interrogates society’s view of women who are exploited through the sex industry, and how it uses double standards to judge the men who exploit them.

“The story has a profound message to the youth of today, particularly girls, on how they can empower themselves and avoid exploitation,” Joyah said.

From the trailer, one is able to appreciate the great work that Joyah and team put up. The picture quality is good and, so, is the sound.

In the film, Joyah runs away from using well-known actors who starred in his two previous award winning movies – Seasons of A Life and The Last Fishing Boat.

The film has new faces and its story follows the lives of two women, Rubia and Watipa, as they struggle to survive in the rough, unforgiving townships of Blantyre.

One day Rubia refuses to have sex with a very rich businessman, who is a regular client. The businessman loses his temper and violently attempts to rape her.

In self defence, Rubia stabs the businessman to death. She is arrested and charged with murder.

Her subsequent trial becomes a battle not just to escape the death sentence but also a journey towards her inner emancipation.

Stories of prostitutes have been told since time immemorial, with the Bible having its own fair share but Joyah said what makes The Road To Sunrise different from the rest of the stories is that it tells the story from the point of view of prostitutes themselves as they try to survive exploitation and abuse from male clients and their pimp.

The film stars Mirriam Phiri in the leading role as Rubia, Chantelle Phiri as Watipa, and Madock Masina as Shoti, the switchblade-welding pimp.

Other actors are Tambudzo Mpinganjira, Mphatso Mwale, Yankho Seunda, Blessings Suya and Felicity Thunyani.

Hope Chisanu, Tapiwa Gwaza and Bennie Msuku, who starred in Joyah’s previous movies, are also part of the cast.

“After screening the movie in Lilongwe and Blantyre, we will then have a theatre run at M-Theatres in Blantyre on days to be announced later,” Joyah said.

The filmmaker also said that, to avoid piracy, the movie will not be released on DVD until later next year.

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