Sibikwa Arts Centre is reviving four of its classics: Uhambo, Kwela Bafana, DET Boys’ High and So Where To?.
The Sibikwa Arts Centre in Benoni, founded by Phyllis Klotz and Smal Ndaba, is internationally recognised for its productions that have an ongoing concern to address social, environmental, gender and health issues that validate the lives of ordinary people.
The Sibikwa Players, comprising actors, musicians, dancers and singers, have been dedicated to developing a canon of indigenous South African work in their wondrous signature multi-discipline style since they were founded in 1988.
Sibikwa’s professional drama component has long blown any preconceptions about community theatre out of the water bringing epic retelling of South African history to mainstream audiences.
Sibikwa has revived four of its emblematic classics: Uhambo, Kwela Bafana, DET Boys’ High and So Where To?. All these productions are written and directed by Phyllis Klotz and Smal Ndaba, the stellar Sibikwa team, and have toured extensively nationally and internationally participating in the Edinburgh Festival, Festivals in Europe, Singapore, Canada and the USA. They are now ready for touring in South Africa and the SADC!
- Uhambo, first presented in 1997, is an inspiring tale about a boy’s adventure during a vibrant yet conflicting time. The harsh system of migratory labour and the ever–growing repression of apartheid are re-told through a wondrous mixture of music, dance, drama, mime and dialogue. Uhambo, seen through the eyes of Mzamo, a scared and vulnerable teenage boy, born in the 1950s in the Eastern Cape, takes the audience back to the time when Mzamo was a 14-year-old boy and embarked on a journey to find his parents in eGoli, a trip that ultimately becomes his journey into manhood. Uhambo will be presented in association with the State Theatre in September 2015 and will only be available after the run.
- Kwela Bafana is an engaging, scintillating musical that pays homage to the distinctive music of the 1950s, an era of vivacity, fashion, music, dance and bravery in the face of apartheid adversity and forced removals. This soulful production, set in a shebeen, brings the 50s back to life; it takes you down memory lane to the era of ‘live fast, die young and make a beautiful corpse’ with the music of South African icons such as Strike Vilakazi, Dorothy Masuka and the Manhattan Brothers. Kwela Bafana has audiences singing along, tapping their feet and wishing they had brought along their dancing shoes.
- D. E. T. Boys’ High, a highly energetic, thought-provoking, multi-award winning Sibikwa production, emerged from intense research in the 1990s and is presented in the typical multilingual Sibikwa style with a-cappella harmonies and high energy dances embedded in the dialogues. It gives a candid view of the substandard education of the day, sadly still relevant today. The play, set in a boy’s high school toilet, shakes and pulsates with the raw vitality and fire of the and explores corruption among teachers and the disillusionment of learners
- So Where To? Is a passionate play about the anguish and sorrow of three young, unwed, pregnant women for whom motherhood is blighted by the prejudices of apartheid. Set in 1988, against the background of the state of emergency and oppressive police action, the play examines the fate of the three young women from dissimilar backgrounds who are all expecting their illegitimate babies in a Daveyton maternity ward. Sibikwa is proud to announce that the female cast of the revised 2015 adaption of So Where To? is completely drawn from its Saturday Arts Academy graduates while the male lead is played by SAA-parent Sipho Manzini known for his roles in Scandal an Isibaya.
All four plays can be booked as school plays; they are suitable for learners from Grade 7 upwards. DET Boys’ High and So Where To? deal with issues such as drugs, crime and teenage pregnancy that affect the daily lives of our youth and fit in with the life orientation syllabus. Kwela Bafana and Uhambo focus on history and heritage.
Sibikwa wouldn’t be Sibikwa without a special women’s month offering. This year So Where To? Will be presented at the Sibikwa Arts Theatre on August 8, 9 and 10 at 3 pm. Tickets are R50 for adults and R25 for pensioners, students and children. Inquiries: 011 422 4359.