Deep in the African jungle: The witchdoctors (Milton Wood, Robert
DeCoy) of a certain native tribe accuse Kano (Al Freeman), son of chief
Chabba (Roy Glenn) of theft while the chief is away and want to execute
him. Kano runs away and bumps into Bantu the Zebra Boy (Johnny Sheffield),
a benevolent white jungle dweller - who tells Kano to return to his tribe
since the witchdoctors won't dare to execute him until the next full moon,
and promises to go fetch his dad the chief in the meantime.
Chief Chabba meanwhile is the guide of Trench's (Lane Bradford) safari,
but when he hears about his son's fate, he immediately wants to return
home - and Trench not only lets him go, he even promises to accompany him.
However, on the way to Chabba's tribe, Trench shows his true colours and
pushes Bantu and Chabba into alligator-infested waters ... but somehow,
Bantu manages to not only save his own life but also the life of Chabba,
even though he has to leave him behind injured.
But why did Trench try to kill Bantu and Chabba ?
Because Chabba's tribe owns one of the biggest diamond mines in the
region, and Trench has made a deal with the witchdoctors, who have
promised him not only the mine but also the tribesmen as slaves to work in
the mine - but to that end, chief Chabba and his son (and rightful heir)
have to be out of the picture.
In the end, Bantu manages to free Kano, who is about to be poisoned,
and together, teh two fight it out with the witchdoctors and Trench before
the local commissioner (George Spelvin) arrives with Chabba to see to it
that justice is served.
When Johnny Sheffield's Bomba
the Jungle Boy series of films came to an end in 1955, he and
his father Reginald Sheffield tried to duplicate the series relative
success on the big screen with Bantu the Zebra Boy, a pilot they
made for the small screen - and essentially, Bantu is Bomba
apart from the fact that he now wears a zebra loincloth and
rides a zebra. For whatever reason though, the Bantu-series was never
picked up. Taken on its own merits, and especially when compared to other
contemporary small-screen jungle fare, Bantu the Zebra Boy is
rather well done though, it features plenty of outdoor-scenes, reasonably
convincing sets, and Sheffield riding a zebra is at least a change from
many other jungle heroes ... but apparently that wasn't enough, as maybe
Sheffield just wasn't big enough a star and the newly created Bantu just
didn't have the same drawing power as Bomba,
a well-known character from boys' adventure books. And just maybe,
television just didn't need yet another jungle hero, who knows ...