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South Africa gives 'Dhoom' a unique welcome
By Fakir Hassen, IANS
Hindi film "Dhoom" got a unique promotional drive on its opening in South Africa when bikers on high-powered machines roared through the streets of the mainly Indian township of Lenasia, south of here, Friday evening.
Scores of excited residents, mainly teenage girls, gathered around the three dozen motorcycle riders and their partners after they whizzed into the area and surprised hordes of shoppers.
The bikers from the Harley Davidson Club started off from the suburb of Rosebank - the home of the Bollywood circuit started three years ago by the country's largest cinema exhibition group, Ster-Kinekor.
Special arrangements were made with police and traffic authorities to allow the convoy through Johannesburg streets and motorways before they arrived at their destination some 40 km away an hour later.
Each bike had specially made flags of the "Dhoom" poster fluttering in the wind.
Crowds of eager fans thronged around the bikes while the mainly white riders were treated to an Indian lunch.
Some local Indian girls even charmed the riders enough to get a quick whiz around the shopping centre.
The "Dhoom" flags were very much in demand and the Ster-Kinekor team, while obliging a few fans, had a hard time keeping back at least two for the office, said Bollywood manager for Ster-Kinekor, Bashan Govindarajalu.
"We decided to do something different to create even greater awareness for this film which is expected to do very well in South Africa, as all titles from the Yashraj stable usually do," said Ster-Kinekor chief executive Fiaz Mohamed.
"It needed a little extra attention to mark India's first biker movie, which features some of the most powerful bikes in the world, ridden by heartthrobs Abhishek Bachchan, John Abraham and Uday Chopra."
Most shows for the film on its opening weekend were sold out across South Africa.