Dikamawoko brings ‘Taking Madiba’
The last time Blantyre-based group Dikamawoko Arts had a production on stage was two years ago.
But now after a two-year break, the group which recently hosted a traditional dance afternoon at Kwa Haraba in Blantyre is out with a play titled ‘Taking Madiba’.
The play will be staged at Jacaranda Cultural Centre in Blantyre tomorrow afternoon.
“People should keep time because we will start at 3pm and finish at 4pm. The entry fee is K2,500,” said Tawonga Taddja Nkhonjera, who has written the play.
Madiba is a name that needs no introduction as it is that of South Africa’s former president late Nelson Mandela.
He served as South Africa’s president from 1994 to 1999. He was the country’s first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election.
Mandela died on December 5, 2013 aged 95.
He is widely regarded as an icon of democracy and social justice and he received more than 250 honours – including the Nobel Peace Prize.
And now back to the production, Nkhonjera, who is Dikamawoko Director, said they were excited to get back to the stage.
“I know some quarters have been asking as to why we are coming up with Taking Madiba, instead of our own stories but in theatre you are not restricted to your own stories. I wrote this play sometime but we could not do it and now here we are,” he said.
Nkhonjera is starring in the play alongside Constance Thyangathyanga.
“This was initially a one-man act but Xolisa Ngubelanga, who is directing the play, decided to breathe more life into it suggesting that we should have a cast of two, so it’s now a cast of two,” he said.
And asked why he went for Ngubelanga, an actor, director and drama teacher from Port Elizabeth, South Africa to direct the play, Nkhonjera said:
“We made a call that we were looking for people to direct the production and so Xolisa came up. It’s the first time for Constance to do such a play but we have worked very hard and I can say we are almost 100 percent ready.”
He said this was an original play written by him and not an adaptation.
“We are staging this play as any other. We have three other plays coming up ‘A Dry Pond’, ‘Chaos and The President Who Loved Leicester City Football Club’ and so we are not stopping here. With funds permitting we may take Taking Madiba to other areas,” said the actor.
In ‘Taking Madiba’, Nkhonjera plays the role of Grim Reaper while Thyangathyanga is starring as The Creator.
According to the synopsis, the play is a depiction of Madiba’s qualities and characteristics when he was alive.
“The soul collector, Grim Reaper, is going about his business, collecting souls. Next on his list is Nelson Mandela.
“On account of the nature of the man, Grim Reaper has qualms collecting Mandela’s soul, much to the chagrin of The Creator and she makes her case known in clear terms that no matter what, Grim will be taking Madiba,” Nkhonjera explained.
He said the play was there to entertain people but also at the same time offer lessons.
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