The themes in Tsotsi include a wide range of issues, including ones that are personal, moral or ethical and social. A number of the themes in Tsotsi involve a tug-of-war between opposites where we are called upon to consider and weigh up both viewpoints and make up our own minds. For some audiences, that seriousness will be a kind of status indicator and it may well be associated with the knowledge that the film is based on a novel by a well known playwright. The baby is a symbol of renewal, rebirth and redemption, focused on Tsotsi.
All of Fugard’s characters are a reflection of the effects of Apartheid. He viciously beats his friend, who asks him if he understand the word decency. The strain theory looks at the structures within the society as central to the occurrence of Crime (Pelovangu, 2010). In Tsotsi’s situation, it seems necessary to commit crime as a means of survival.
Tsotsi is certainly ‘serious’ in terms of its overall tone and the importance of the social issues it represents.
Fugard also conveys the theme of the negative affects the oppression had on the black society in South Africa during Apartheid.