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Jennifer Hudson is set to star in a drama that casts her as the former wife of South Africa’s first black president, Nelson Mandela.

“Winnie,” based on the Anne Marie du Preez Bezdrob biography “Winnie Mandela: A Life,” begins shooting May 30 in the South African locations of Johannesburg, Capt Town, Transkei and Robben Island, where the future president spent 18 of his 27 years in prison.

The film will be directed by Darrell J. Roodt, the veteran South African filmmaker whose 2006 movie “Yesterday” was Africa’s Best Foreign Film nominee, and who also directed “Cry, The Beloved Country,” and “Sarafina!”

Winnie Mandela has been depicted as the mother and wife who was a steadfast supporter of her activist husband and who was jailed herself for campaigning for his release and fighting against apartheid.

Her image subsequently took a hit when she was associated with a bodyguard who murdered a 14-year old alleged informer, and she was later convicted of fraud.

The filmmakers will tell the whole story, good and bad.

“I was compelled and moved when I read the script,” Hudson said. “Winnie Mandela is a complex and extraordinary woman and I’m honored to be the actress asked to portray her. This is a powerful part of history that should be told.”

Hudson is also expected to sing the film’s theme song.

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