Dolly Rathebe

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Dolly Rathebe was drawn to the burgeoning and vibrant music scene in Sophiatown and started singing with local jazz bands in neighbourhood clubs. In 1949, she was spotted by a talent scout and was offered the lead female role in Jim Comes to Joburg, one of the earliest South African films made for a primarily black audience. Although she was essentially untrained as an actor, her sparkling performance as a nightclub singer revealed a raw, natural talent. Dolly, as she was popularly called, was in great public demand and became the first African female movie star.

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