Mission Impossible star brings hope to rural KZN

Celani Sikhakhane

The arrival of American actor Tom Cruise at the most poverty stricken district in KwaZulu-Natal has brought hope to traditional leaders for rural economic recovery.

Cruise has been in South Africa since February shooting the eighth instalment of the Mission impossible movie franchise.

It has mostly been shot in Limpopo, but called for a Drakensberg Mountains shoot. Cruise flew into Ladysmith on Monday.

The chairperson of the house of traditional leadership in uThukela district, Inkosi Ngqayizivela Sithole, told Scrolla.Africa that this was a huge boost to local tourism. This sector was badly affected by the Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020.

“To us this is a huge step towards job creation in the tourism sector since such actors are famous to the whole world and their visit to our district will advertise uThukela,” Sithole told Scrolla.Africa.

“I’m disappointed that I didn’t get a chance to see Cruise when he landed in Ladysmith this morning because I was busy with the issue of the murder of Inkosi Nxumalo,” said Sithole.

Inkosi Sithole said this is going to encourage young stars who want to get into the movie sector from uThukela.

UThukela is well known for the Drakensberg mountains, which support many B&Bs with beautiful mountain views.

Cruise was spotted leaving a parked trailer at the airfield and walking towards the waiting helicopters. He greeted locals who had gathered at the airfield and waved back at them, before doing a spot check on his chopper and getting in.

He and his filming crew spent a short time in Ladysmith before flying off to central Drakensberg to continue shooting the movie.

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