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Zulu life on stage

John Sealy

Zulu life on stage

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The?Steel?Shed at historic Queen’s Park, attracted an excited and involved large audience on Wednesday to witness a group of local actors take on the character and spirit of the Zulu people in a play entitled Princess Magogo: The Rise Of A Star.
The play was based on the life and true story of Princess Magogo Sibilile Mantithi Ngangezinye Ka Dinuzulu – a princess, played quite convincingly by Ayesha Gibson-Gill. Magogo revolutionized the culture of music in South Africa.
In addressing the importance of tribal loyalty and respect for elders’ qualities, Magogo, a praise singer, was intent on using her music to educate.
“I?cannot deny what I have been blessed with. Male or female poet, it doesn’t matter, it should not matter because what matters is this great nation’s stories and journeys be spoken of and preserved,” she said, but in the end she felt that the family and marriage tradition was the better choice.
The play also highlighted the importance of artists and women in the preservation of culture.
The one-hour production was much less about an opportunity to critique but more an avenue for patrons and actors to feel and experience another culture.
A relieved Thobelike Mbanda, speaking after the production directed by Sonia Williams, complimented all the players for their involvement.
South African-born Mbanda was here for six months during which time she wrote the script and said a load had been taken off her shoulders because she could not anticipate the public’s response.
Many of the tickets were sold on Wednesday before the performance.
“I was not breathing until [Thursday] morning.”