A Lion’s Trail

A Lion’s Trail reveals the story of Solomon Linda, the Zulu herdboy behind The Lion Sleeps Tonight, whose rights were stolen. This captivating documentary explores the journey from Africa to America, highlighting the injustices of copyright and the unifying force of music.

Screenings – CT
BerthaMThu 29 June 2pm+ Q&A


François Verster


South Africa



Running Time:

55 min


isiZulu, English

The remarkable story of a tune composed by Zulu herdboy Solomon Linda, which became one of the most recorded songs in history, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, but left its originator penniless after an American songwriter stole the rights. A Lion’s Trail takes you on a visual and aural adventure from the rolling hills and humble churches of Africa to America’s concrete jungles. Here folk singer Pete Seeger stumbled on the composition in 1949, only to see George David Weiss add a few words and claim royalties ever since – while Linda’s descendants languish in poverty in Soweto. lt’s a gripping investigation into the shady world of copyright privacy, and a rousing celebration of the power of song to inspire and unite across continents and generations.

Courtesy of the Director