The Tokoloshe (2018) - full transcript

Busi, a young destitute woman with dangerously repressed emotions, lands a job as a cleaner at a rundown hospital in the heart of Johannesburg. Desperate for the money so she can bring her ...

He is
as old as mankind.

Long before he came
into our cities

he waited in dark
forests and deep rivers

for the lost, the weak.

Cursed by the Great Father, he
is as hateful as he is foul.

He is the Tokoloshe,
one that feeds

on children and
those left alone.

No,
I agree with you.

This influx of immigrants
into Johannesburg

has been unprecedented.

Neighborhoods like Hillbrow
changed virtually overnight.



I mean, the issue is they're
still coming from all over.

There's no more place for them.

They're sleeping
rough, sardines packed

into condemned buildings with
no water, no electricity.

It's a health hazard.

Busi Zondi,

welcome to the night shift.

Thank you for the opportunity.

Yeah, yeah, yeah,
don't thank me.

If it had been my choice
you wouldn't be here.

Can I ask why, sir?

You're
all just trouble.

The last girl that was in
here left after two months.

It's a constantly
revolving door.



It makes my job difficult.

No, not me, sir.

I'm more than
committed to the work.

Are you, now?

Your shift starts at 9 p.m.

You arrive late,
they'll deduct pay.

If you leave early
they'll deduct pay.

Make sure that you clock in.

And wear your regulation
uniform otherwise...

I must pay.

Mm.

Take it.

Hello?

It's very quiet
for a hospital.

Budget cuts,
care is rent-free.

What's that?

Budget cuts.

This is where it all comes.

Do I have to use that?

No, whatever you do,
don't ever go near that.

Sometimes

cats stay in there.

Make sure it's not you.

Get those bags and
give it to this beauty.

Is she the new one?

Mm-hmm.

You need to get a
receipt for all those.

Wouldn't want
this stuff ending up

in a landfill where
kids can find it.

Now, do we?

What is it?

Human waste.

Can you tell me
about Mr. Ruatonim?

Honey, if I can
give you some advice,

keep your tits tucked
in and legs crossed

and everything will be fine.

Get in, it's wet.

My stop's around
the corner, sir.

I wanted to
apologize for earlier.

It's been difficult
with the layoffs

and people not coming to work.

Um...

Can I ask why the
other girl left, sir?

Ah, she, um, she
said she couldn't

handle the graveyard
shift anymore.

It's challenging work.

I'm not afraid
of hard work, sir.

That's
good to know.

Let me drive you home.

We can have a
proper introduction.

Um, honestly, sir, my
stop's around the corner.

Okay.

Suit yourself.

Bitch.

Look what I brought for you.

It's a sheet.

Don't shout at me because I did
not buy it.

Do you like it?

Soon I will have money to bring
you here!

I promise you my sister we will
be together again.

Lindi?

Hello?

Can you hear me?

Lindi?

Shit.

My God.

My God.

Hello?

Hello?

Is there somebody there?

Hey.

You're not supposed
to be down here.

What do you want here?

You're not supposed to be here!

What's going on?

New here?

I was following the
boy down the stairs.

Oh, Thabang.

He's always sneaking
off, but we're far

too few to keep an
eye on them all.

They are sick?

Some are, but most are
AIDS orphans booked in

for monitoring and
just forgotten.

There we go.

Okay, come, let's get into bed.

You are
really good with them.

You learn.

Have any of your own?

Every night it's something else.

I'm Rosie, by the way.

Busi.

The new cleaner, right!

Have you heard the old stories?

About the Tokoloshe
that tricks children

into trusting him
before drowning them?

That's why the bricks
are here, but, um,

let's just say he isn't small.

They don't know what I mean.

I really
must get back to work.

Ruatonim.

Geez, babe, if there ever was
a Tokoloshe, it's Ruatonim.

I must
get back to work.

It was
nice to meet you.

Help!

Help!

Help!

Help!

Help!

Help!

What were you doing?

There are rules and I'm here

to make sure people follow them.

I must get back...

No.

Yes, sir.

Why the sudden rush?

Do you have a
boyfriend, Busi Zondi?

No!

Please, sir, let me go!

How much do you need this job?

Let me hear it again!

Let me go!

Shut up!

Shut up!

Run!

Run!

Busi Zondi?

Hiding isn't going to help.

Thank you.

Please give me a moment, sir.

If you don't
have the correct fare,

you don't ride.

I'm sorry.

Come on, come
on, you're holding up

the rest of my
passengers, please.

Take this money and pay the
driver.

I can't accept it.

Take this money If you don't
want me to hit you with this stick.

Thank you.

Thank you.

It's going to be okay.

What are you doing?

I'm sorry my child...

...If it seems like I'm
prying...

...but my spirit senses that...

...your soul is troubled.

There is a way...

I have to get off here.

Are you coming with me?

Why?

My daughter once said to me...

...If you want to be strong...

...you have to wake up,

...and do something.

Are you coming?

I'm sorry...

...I don't even know you!

Abel.

My name is Abel.

Have a nice day then.

The police where here again...

...threatening to evict
people...

...all they wanted was a
bribe...

...you know how they are.

I'll get my boys and we'll deal
with them.

Jesus.

My boys don't have hearts you
know.

This whole thing is just a mess.

There you go, madame.

Ta-da!

So Busi tell me...

...this place is too big...

...It's way too big for you to
be alone.

Sleeps at least 20.

We come a long way, you and I...

Not once did I
ask you for money.

...I always knew you'd pay.

But now, I need to ask peeps.

Where is the money?

The money is needed.

But, I don't get that
money, they break my legs,

Busi, they come for you.

Come on Busi make a plan...

...you know that you and me...

...since way back I
knew you wanted me!

I'll pay you, Jakes.

But then Busi, when?

Okay girl, next week.

I never get my way with this
one.

Tonight
we'll be talking about

the shocking levels of
child abuse in South Africa.

One in three children
is sexually abused.

Feels good my child?

Virtually murdered
his own daughter,

I don't want this!

It feels nice!

believing she was a Tokoloshe.

I don't want this!

But you love it!

I know you have to leave that
place.

I have a plan...

...I promise you my sister.

Sir?

Sir?

It's me, the girl from the bus.

Ah, my stubborn
little daughter.

My name is Busi.

I'm sorry for yesterday.

I should not have been rude.

Don't worry about it.

Wait!

The offer still stands.

Tea, talk, or both.

Both.

Sometimes...

...a week can go by with no one
coming in...

...because...

...I forget to switch the lights
on.

There we go.

Let me put the kettle on.

You make these masks?

Every one of them.

How?

My child...

...spiritual healers don't need
eyes...

...to see the spiritual world.

Even the hands...

...they get used to the work.

They are...

Ugly?

Scary?

They are supposed to be scary...

...because the evil spirits...

...will be scared away by them.

They are beautiful.

Tea?

Tell me my child...

...what has brought you to this
Godforsaken place?

I came here because of work.

You shouldn't be smoking.

That's like my little
Dina used to say.

Don't smoke.

You see my daughter...

...these masks...

...you see on the wall of my
place...

...they have great powers within
them.

What?

Secrets.

What's troubling you so much my
child?

I left my sister alone...

...and I don't know how I'm
going to get her here.

Where is your sister right now?

I must go.

Forgive me.

I did not mean to offend you.

No...

...you didn't.

Take one.

No sir.

I can't.

Take one, my child!

It's my way of apologizing.

Lumukhanda, the cannibal chief.

This is a very powerful weapon
with great strength.

There are many folktales about
Lumukhanda...

...battling against evil forces.

He's wise as he is mischievous.

I will make a trade with you.

You take the mask and
take this lighter.

No, Sir.

Lighter must be worth...

Take the mask...

...and help me to stop smoking.

I'm old...

...don't argue with me.

At the
tone, record your message.

To end press hash.

I've been leaving you
voicemails...

...I'm worried.

Anyway,

I got you a present.

I hope you love it.

Call me!

What will I do?

What will I do?

You're back.

I need the job.

You do.

You need a cleaner.

Why
should I take you back?

Do I have the job or not?

That depends.

Come here.

I said, come here.

I'm keeping half of
this week's wages

to replace the uniform you tore.

They're expensive.

And where have you been?

Hmm?

Sick.

Oh.

So.

That didn't take
you long at all.

Wipe that look off your
pretty little face.

Did I not tell you to
stay away from him?

I don't want to!

I don't want to!

But we are going to have fun.

We'll be together.

No, I don't want that.

I told you, I don't want to!

Hey.

You should not be down here.

Don't come closer!

Why?

He forbids it.

Who?

The tokoloshe!

There is nothing there.

Get rid of her!

Please stop what you are doing!

Look at me!

Look at me!

I don't like the way he plays...

...he plays rough.

What?

It's you...

...from the other day.

There is nothing there.

Come! Let's go!

Let's go! I need to get back to
work.

Come, child, let's go.

Let's go!

Is this your ward?

Yes. It's me... alone.

Come. Let's get you to bed.

I don't want to...

...he's here. I know he's here!

You know what...

...I don't have time for this...

...I need to go back to work.

Come. Get In.

Come. Get In!

What's this?

It's him. The tokoloshe.

He's under the bed, waiting for
you to leave.

There is nothing to be scared
of...

...everything is going to be
okay.

You have all these toys...

...and the nurses will
constantly check up on you.

No!

Which one is your favorite toy?

This one or this one? Which one?

This one?

What is its name?

It's Gumo.

It's Gumo?

Okay, let me put him in here...

...here is Gumo.

Okay. Don't be afraid.

Everything will be alright.

What's this?

Can I get a hug?

A hug?

Okay, sleep well.

No!

Please?

Okay. I will leave it on.

I will come and check up on you
later.

Gumo, he's here.

Why is this little girl hiding?

I told you...

...I don't want to play with you
anymore

Gracie.

Who are you, ma'am?

My name is Busi Zondi.

I'm one of the cleaners.

Can I see your ID, please?

Yes, sir.

Sir, what's going on?

There was an accident.

Warren, please!

Thank you, ma'am.

Thank you, sir.

Busi.

My baby's, my baby's gone.

Which one?

Busi.

Which one?

I know we don't
each other all that well.

Busi, please.

Which one?

Busi.

Which one?

Busi.

Please, please.

Please tell them for me.

They run around on their own.

Please, I beg you.

Gracie.

My baby's gone.

Gracie.

Gracie?

Gracie, where are you?

Gracie?

Gracie?

What is it?

What is it, Gracie?

What is it?

What happened?

What happened?

Tell me!

He's back!

I told you he'll come back!

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry, Gracie.

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry.

I don't want to be here anymore.

I don't want to!

Do you want to go with me?

Hurry up!

Okay, alright.

Do you see that security guard?

Okay.

I will go over there to distract
him...

...you will sneak
around him and wait for me.

Okay.

Okay.

Are we hiding because we did
something wrong?

No...

...not you.

Yes, sir.

All in order, sir.

Copy.

Hello, my brother.

- Yes, ma'am.
- How are you?

I am fine.

May I ask you something?

Where can I find the nearest
shop?

You see over there...

...you walk straight...

...turn left.

Yes, ma'am.

You turn left...

...and at the corner you will
see the shop.

Thank you very much my, brother.

You are welcome, sister.

We fooled him!

Yes, let's go.

Where are we going now?

We are going home.

Does that mean I won't ever have
to go back there?

It depends...

...do you have parents?

Yes, but they were not good to
me.

Are we here?

Yes, we are here.

You live here?

Yes, come.

The lights are out again...

...come.

Who do you stay with?

I stay alone.

But where is your family?

Don't be scared...

...you are safe now!

This lighter...

...there we go.

Okay.

Alright.

Okay.

I am going to fix everything...

...you'll see.

Okay.

Yes.

Okay.

Huh?

What am I going to do?

What are you doing here?

How did you get here?

Hello?

Where are you?

But I don't want to play now.

I couldn't take
the work anymore.

It's gone crazy here.

Thabang's accident.

They were speaking
about some money.

Do you know anything about it?

Maybe.

Busi.

The work was too hard.

Be honest with me.

Do you know what
happened to Thabang?

Why are you asking?

The cops
are asking questions.

About
Thabang or the money?

Thabang, I don't
care about that idiot's money!

Look, I know
nothing about Thabang, Rosie.

I took Ruatonim's money.

You what?

I had to take it!

He's a thief!

I have to save my sister, Rosie.

She needs me, she's alone.

I can feel it.

So what did you say to them?

Jesus, girl, nothing!

Have they
asked about Gracie?

Gracie, who's Gracie?

Hello?

Rosie?

Hello?

Where are you?

Show yourself?

I can't see you...

...where are you?

Gracie!

Gracie?

Gracie, where are you?

Busi!

Busi!

- Busi!
- Gracie!

Gracie.

It's him!

Who is it?

- It's him!
- Who?

He followed us from the
hospital.

Who is it?

Who is it, Gracie?

The tokoloshe!

No.

He's in the bedroom.

The bedroom?

Are you talking about the mask?

Lumukhanda?

Who?

It's Lumukhanda baby.

Lumukhanda.

His job is to chase away evil
spirits.

Don't be scared...

...come

I will introduce you.

Don't be scared.

He looks that way so he can
scare the evil away.

Come, let's go.

No!

It's nice!

I don't want to!

Jakes, if that's you,
I am going to kill you.

Who is it?

Go back to sleep.

What did I say the
first time we met, hmm?

What did I say?

Trouble, that's what
I said you were.

Trouble.

Where's my money?

What money?

Please, please.

Please, sir.

Please.

Whoa,
whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

Where are you going?

Busi?

Busi?

Gracie?

Gracie where are you?

I'm sorry, Gracie.

I'm sorry.

Hey!

Gracie, don't go anywhere.

Lindi?

Lindi?

Why are you calling me from
Lindi's phone?

Busi, please listen to me.

I want to speak with Lindi.

Busi... your sister.

I said I want to speak with
Lindi, not you.

She is dead.

How?

I don't know anymore.

I asked, how?

She killed herself!

Mom.

I was not expecting you!

I'm happy...

...you managed to come for the
funeral.

Even your father will be happy
to see you.

Where is he?

He's with his daughter,

Where else would he be?

I am not surprised.

This is all a disgrace.

A disgrace.

A disgrace for who?

A disgrace for who?

A disgrace for who?

You are our mother.

You were supposed
to proctect us...

...where were you?

You were not there!

I know.

You let them do
whatever with us...

...you let him.

You let him.

No my child, I did not.

You killed my sister!

It was you!

It was you!

You are not my mother!

I don't want to stay here
anymore.

We won't stay long.

It's like dead people are
talking to me.

I am sorry dear sister.

We didn't know that you were
coming.

Are you going to stay a few
days?

You have a lot of questions
today.

It belonged to me and my sister.

Come, let's play.

Let's sleep.

Yes, let's sleep.

Okay, let's go to sleep.

There we go.

Which prayer do you want to
recite?

Now I lay me down to sleep.

Okay, you can pray.

May God guide me
through the night

and wake me up in the
morning light, amen.

Where is he?

At his place.

Busi!

Gumo?

Gumo, come here.

Gumo?

Busi!

Come...

...let's go.

Lindi!

Lindi?

Lindi?

Gracie!

Gracie.

Gracie.

Gracie!

Gracie?

Gracie?

Gracie, let's go.

But she's looking for you.

Who?

Lindi.

Come.

No.

We are not going there.

But she's inside.

We not going in there.

Busi!

Lindi.

Come.

We are not going in there.

But...

...come.

We are not going
in there, let's go!

But she is inside.

Who?

It's Lindi.

Shh.

Busi.

Lindi.

Busi!

Is this really you?

You finally came.

Not soon enough though.

It doesn't matter anymore...

...I know you've always been
trying.

It doesn't matter, I've let you
down.

No, you didn't.

It doesn't matter now.

Now is the time...

...to live our lives.

He's coming.

RUN!

Hurry up, Busi.

He's coming!

The lighter.

The lighter.

He's coming.

The lighter.

Come.

Run!

Busi!

Run!

RUATONIM
VOICEOVER: Busi Zondi.

It's over!