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Bollywood fever grips South Africa

entertainment Updated: May 24, 2009 14:30 IST

It's not just Bollywood that has turned to South Africa to shoot at its mesmerising locales, people in this rainbow nation too have embraced the Hindi thrillers and musicals with equal vigour.

With actors like Shahrukh Khan, Preity Zinta, Shilpa Shetty and Katrina Kaif adding the glamour quotient to the ongoing IPL tournament by representing their respective teams either as owners or brand ambassadors, their ardent fans here are keeping their fingers crossed to have a glimpse of the Bollywood hotties in person.

Natasha Marrian, whose forefathers came from southern India to work as indentured labourers in South Africa, confesses her undying love for Hindi films.

"Shahrukh, Amir (Khan) and John (Abraham) are my favourite actors while I like Aishwarya (Rai Bachchan) and Priyanka (Chopra) the most among the girls," says Natasha, a journalist working with the South African Press Association (SAPA).

The Rosebank cinema hall in the nearby city of Johannesburg caters to the requirement of the Hindi movie buffs by releasing the latest Bollywood flicks, adds Natasha.

The last Hindi film she saw was Ghajini and was all praise for the lead actor Amir Khan, who she says has done a "wonderful job" in the action movie.

June Pillai, the Night Manager at the luxury Hyatt Regency hotel in Johannesburg, names Shahrukh as his favourite actor.

Notwithstanding the language barrier, he makes it a point to watch the Hindi movies with his Tamil-speaking family on his off-days.

"It gives us the feel of the country of our origin," says Pillai, a third generation Indian in South Africa, which is home to around 1.5 million people of Indian origin.

It is not only Indians who are hooked to Hindi films, but young South Africans too are showing a keen interest in Bollywood.

"I some time watch the Indian movies with my friends," says Sebastian, a black taxi driver, who likes both Hollywood and Bollywood flicks.

Hindi filmmakers too appear to have found a perfect destination in the picturesque cities of South Africa to shoot their movies here.

Ajay Devgan-starrer thriller Cash set in Cape Town and Sunil Shetty's Khel in which the exotic locales of South Africa are captured marvelously are among the movies filmed in this country.