Category Archives: Previous Work

Sizwe Banzi lives in a new play

JOHN Kani’s, Athol Fugard’s and Winston Ntshona’s Sizwe Banzi Is Dead is one of SA’S classic and important plays dealing with the everyday plights of the black man during apartheid.

JHB

In it Sizwe Banzi, who is jobless with an expired work permit, faces the prospect of going home to the disappointed faces of his family who expect him to be who he’s always been: the breadwinner. In a twist of events he takes on the identity of a murdered stranger who happens to have the work permit he so needs, thus considering his own identity, as Sizwe Banzi, dead.

The effects of this timeless piece have resulted in three youngsters creating a new play in response to the original. Sizwe Banzi Is Alive, directed by Eliot Moleba, with actors Simpho Mthenjwa and Msiza Mbali, who are Wits graduates, speaks to how the issues in Sizwe Banzi Is Dead have affected today’s generation.

“For every action there is a consequence. For every missing person there is a family living with the mystery of their disappearance,” goes the tag line for the new play.

Moleba believes this is a story forming one case of the many unsolved mysteries of SA’S wounded people and past. And this is a personal story. Msiza and Mthenjwa will present a number of characters who will take the audience through a heartfelt story of a young man in search of his grandfather, his name and his past.

“The new play marks the risks and bravery invested and celebrated about the original Sizwe Banzi as one of the timeless stories of our heritage. And it is in the relentless pursuit of one’s identity that this work draws an inspiration to tell a new story about my identity within the contemporary South African socio-political landscape. So this is an entirely new search of separate voice and self in a different time frame within the South African context. My re-imagination of the narrative weaves in the issues that reflect most of the truth and challenges of our current time,” says Moleba.

The story follows a grandson’s search for a distant past. Wiseman goes to New Brighton where his grandfather was last seen. What this unravels is dramatic tension and conflict that comes with meeting the right name, but the wrong face.

Talking about the creative process, Moleba says he and his cast realised that as the new generation, they were Wiseman and they were dealing with their personal narratives – which, more than feeding into the process, were the process.

“I believe it is through our stories that we remind ourselves and each other what it means to share our life experience and embrace our common humanity. Thus, as a contemporary young theatre-director in search of a ‘new voice’, I love and want to create a theatrical space that engages with social issues that are thoughtprovoking, reflective, relevant and pressing to my audience(s).

“As such, Sizwe Banzi Is Alive is an artistic offering that engages with a tone that begins to creatively shape a personal and collective voice. How am I, born into a new democratic South African society, supposed to make sense of where I come from when my personal and family history is a mystery to me?” Moleba asks.

For him and his cast the play is a confrontation of the generation gap. It’s a dialogue about the old and new generations’ relationship(s) with the past, and audiences are welcome to bring their stories too.

These youngsters’ objective is to open up a conversation among SA artists, friends, parents, grandparents and most importantly the youth. They plan to take the production to high schools and community halls and spread it far and wide.

is on at Space.com at the Joburg Theatre from June 6-10 before moving to Cape Town in July.

The article first appeared here.

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For the Art: And the greater good

Megan van Wyk - Theatremaker

I love children.

And I love theatre.

And I strongly believe in the role theatre can play in the life of a young person coming to terms with the world. It can encourage play and imagination, fire up a sense of magic, build pathways for understanding human nature and countless other principles, as well as teaching important inter- and intrapersonal skills.
Most of the theatre projects aimed at young audiences I’ve been involved in have been fun and boisterous and very much in line with what people generally think of when children’s theatre is mentioned.

That said, the project I’ve fallen head-first into is very serious children’s theatre.
The play, a new work by Eliot Moleba in association with ASSITEJ ZA, is called The Orphan of Gaza and will premiere at the National School of the Arts Downstairs Theatre on the 16th of June.

Megan van Wyk & Nidaa Husain featured in Eliot Moleba play Orphan of Gaza The Orphan of Gaza

I’m deeply…

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The Man In The Green Jacket (Photos)

The Man In The Green Jacket
Oupa takes a long range ball and John makes a save!
What a spectacular dive by the number one goalkeeper!

 

Oupa takes a shot
The Man In The Green Jacket
The final monologue
The father, alone.
The face of a revolution
John dancing with the dress of his late wife
The conflict begins
Oupa seems the hidden picture of his mum
Surprised John is angry

Oupa and his ‘mum’
Oupa prays
Oupa playing soccer, showing off his skill
Oupa is dead, John receives his green jacket
Keeping the promise; watering the pot-plants
Oupa challenges John
Oupa finds John dancing, but he is unaware of him
John Ledwaba
John, alone, again.
John stands for himself
John speaks
John on his black label
John Ledwaba
Putting on the candle
John finds the key to his wife’s old pictures
John and a mid-night drink
John dancing continues
John and Oupa, world apart
John and Oupa; trying to understand your father
Proud moment: Father and son
And so the arguing grows
They celebrate their goal
The war is on
The militant Oupa
John Ledwaba

Oupa smiles
Oupa smiles

The Man In The Green Jacket

The Marikana Scholarship Fund

(click on the link to see a clip of the show)

We are using this play to promote awareness about the implications of how the Marikana massacre will affect the families left behind. But more importantly, we will collect donations that will go to the education of the children left behind.

The Fund will be collecting donations both locally and internationally to support the education of the children of those who died in the Marikana tragedy, with the hope of raising enough funds to cater for primary, secondary and tertiary education. To make donations as an individual or an organisation, please see the details below:

The bank details for deposits are:
Education Africa
First National Bank
Branch: Melville
Branch Code: 256505
Account number: 50520051851
SWIFT number: FIRNZAJJ (overseas deposits)
Reference: The Marikana Fund – surname

Education Africa can issue section 18A certificates to any South African donors which are tax deductible.

Tax incentives are also available to US (501 3C) and UK (charitable status) donors – these deposit will have to be made directly to these offices. Should you require more info, please contact Education Africa’s Operations Director, Linda Gould on the following details:

Email: Linda(at)educationafrica(dot)org

Tel: 011 685 7300
Fax: 011 783 1714

Contact Details

Dear all,

Please note that I have finally set up new email accounts (under my domain).

So from now on whenever you need to contact me, please use the details below:

For potential collaborations and general enquiries:

Email: info(at)eliotmoleba(dot)com

I look forward to interacting with you all!

Pictures: The Man In The Green Jacket (Stage reading)

These photos were taken by David Ceruti.

The reading was staged at the Wits Nunnery on the 4th of March 2013.