The road less cycled (2019)

  • Drama
  • 1h 30m

In the KwaZulu Natal midlands, South Africa, in a rural one street town called Kranksop. Our protagonist, Philani Jaca (John Hlongwane) a hard-headed 25-year-old, works a dead-end construction job after dropping out of soccer trials. He lives under the huge shadow of his brother, a professional star soccer player.

Philani’s mother, Thoko (Phumzile Puting), has fallen in love with a local businessman called ‘Daddy’ (Mduduzi Nombela). He asks for her hand in marriage leaving Philani to live alone.

With nobody to share a life with and desperate for a chance to prove he is more than a dropout. He steals his soon-to-be step father’s bicycle. And against his mother’s will begins a 300km journey to a career-making bicycle race.

Our man goes through many trials along his four-day journey, meeting wonderful and dubious characters. He is hustled out of money by a herbalist. Mugged and beaten up by wunga boys.

Chased through a river by game rangers. Falls off his bicycle more than he can remember. He rejects people’s help until his false pride leads him into a situation he can’t get himself out of - without help. Philani runs into an old high school flame, Ntethe (Nombuso Thonobambo), who is now a rising star among soccer agents. He is forced to make amends with her and his older brother, Wesley (Msizi Magoso), or fail. Will Philani face his painful past and make amends in order to get help? Will Philani make it on time to the race in Underberg?

Should he fail, will he remain fallen? Like he did with dropping out of soccer. Or has Philani learned to try again and again?


Nathan Rice


Nathan Rice


Nathan Rice


John Hlongwane


Ramadan Suleman

Line Producer

Nonkululeko Dube

Director of Photography

Brad McGee

Focus Puller

Siya Mchunu


Edgar Sibaya


Wesley West