The two child stars, Muntu Ndebele and Norman Knox - now all grown up, of course - recently returned to South Africa from Cannes, where the film launched the festival's South African Retrospective.
There, Ndebele and Knox were re-united with 'e'Lollipop' director Ashley Lazarus for the first time in 25 years.
When 'e'Lollipop' was first released it played a key role in raising international awareness about apartheid, being seen in over 40 countries around the world. However, despite the film's phenomenal success, apartheid separated Ndebele from the rest of the cast, and shortly after the film's release, Ndebele disappeared.
In 'e'Lollipop', Ndebele's character, Tsepo, gave his life to save his friend Jannie, played by Knox. In real life, the roles were reversed. Three years ago, Knox, together with Andre Pieterse, 'e'Lollipop's writer and producer, went on a nationwide search to track down his childhood friend and co-star. They found Ndebele in a derelict flat in Hillbrow, missing teeth and weighing a gaunt 48kg. Bitter and angry, Ndebele had descended into a life of crime and drug addiction. Together with the Ndebele family, Norman and Andre committed themselves to the young man's rehabilitation.
On Thursday, Ndebele returned from Cannes a star, having received extensive print, radio and television coverage, both in South Africa and overseas.
"Cannes was the most exciting moment of my life," says Ndebele. "I am still not sure if this is all actually happening after the life I led. I am so grateful to Uncle Andri Pieterse for rescuing me and to the Cannes Film Festival organisers and the National Film and Video Foundation for putting 'e'Lollipop' back on the red carpet. It was also very special being there with my co-star and friend Norman.
"By the grace of God, I am very fortunate to be alive, especially after 22 years of crime and drugs. If my life can be turned around, so too can the lives of others. I believe that my survival is, in a way, linked to the lessons that made 'e'Lollipop' the classic that it is; commitment, friendship and love that are bigger than any racial divide are what saved me."
Ndebele is looking forward to being involved in the release of 'e'Lollipop' on video and DVD, and in the production of 'e'Lollipop 2: Tsepo's Story', the sequel based on his own inspiring life story.
For more information, go to www.elollipop.co.za