The story follows Comrade Washington (Mbongeni Ngema) who returns to South Africa in 1986 to create a prison theatre project. Washington believes in the power of music and theatre to transform the lives of people: the political activists, the criminals and even the hardened racists of the apartheid regime. He guides the inmates, silenced by the brutal prison authorities, as well as their sadistic, ruthless warden Sergeant Mgwaqaza (Boitumelo Chuck Shisana) to act and sing out the stories of their lives. The inmates are asked to create and perform a stage play for the governor and his associates for a celebration at the prison. These seven inmates, crammed together in a small cell, use their free time at night, after a hard days work, creating the stage play as a way of escaping the reality of where they are.