Having often times resorted to stealing as a means to earning a living, Tsotsi one day steals a car, not knowing that a baby is in its backseat.
There are several themes in this film. First and foremost, there is the theme of redemption which begins to play out immediately Tsotsi is stranded with the baby he had inadvertently stolen. The theme of poverty and criminality and the interrelationship between these two is also revisited in the movie, since Tsotsi is pushed into a life of crime because of poverty. The same poverty constrains Tsotsi from being a law abiding citizen, and makes him a brutal criminal instead, though he knows that robbery in itself is wrong. Likewise, Tsotsi’s friends- Butcher, Aap and Boston have been compelled to live in the streets and to dabble with crime by poverty. The existence of street gangs is also spurred on by poverty. At an instance, Butcher and Aap are almost shifting their loyalty from Tsotsi’s gang to a richer rival.
The concept of fatherhood also heavily and prominently features in the film, to the point of setting the plotline running and leading to the film’s denouement. It is Tsotsi’s abusive father that drives Tsotsi into a criminal life in the streets of Johannesburg, and thereby helping in the development of the plotline. Tsotsi finds himself inadvertently in the same state of fatherhood after he ends up with a baby after a carjacking spree. This unplanned state of fatherhood triggers the humane part of Tsotsi, and thereby causing the plotline to change, thicken and quicken towards the climax. The same concept acts as a tool with which the author displays the true intent of Tsotsi’s heart. Particularly, at a given point, Tsotsi attempts to raise money for Boston’s exams, albeit this is done through robbery. Conversely, the same concept of fatherhood plays out subtly in the film’s climax, and thereby shaping its conclusion. As Tsotsi hands over the child to Pumla’s