In a serendipitous chance encounter near Church Square, professional magician Walter Dore comes across a skillful young street thief called Kgomotso, who lives in the township of Mamelodi on the outskirts of Pretoria. Struggling to keep his show on the road, and without an apprentice, Walter does the unthinkable. He crosses all borders and recruits this reluctant but talented black boy as his apprentice.
Things go horribly wrong in Pretoria, when Walter’s all-white racist audience refuses to acknowledge Kgomotso. The boy’s protective grand-mother Ogogo organises an alternative venue for a second showcase – a shebeen in Mamelodi. It is an equally disastrous gig, but the unique nature of their performance is enough to persuade a friend of Ogogo, a Sikh impresario who owns a club called The Black Cat in Cape Town, to book the duo. They travel to the Cape where their weekly performance at a liberal jazz venue becomes the talk of the town.
Meanwhile the political landscape of the country has been falling further into turmoil, particularly amongst the youth in the townships. Kgomotso asks Walter to allow him to visit Mamelodi, and completely uncharacteristically, he doesn’t show up for their weekly performance. Walter’s protégé has disappeared during the week of the Soweto Uprising and the subsequent violent township riots. Desperate to find him, Walter returns to Mamelodi to discover his friend’s fate in what becomes a poignant symbolic tragi-comic denouement.