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Woza Mthwakazi to premiere in Zimbabwe

by Staff reporter
03 Sep 2017 at 10:44hrs | Views
(From left) Anita Mshweshwe from Siphesakhe Youth Organisation, Chief Ndondo of Mbembesi, Siphelo Mtshetsha and Khaya Dyibane (Siphesakhe Youth Organisation) as well as the chief's aide Hadebe in Mbembesi recently
A South African play - Woza Mthwakazi - which features local artists, will premiere during the Matabeleland Human Rights Convention at Amphi theatre in Bulawayo.

Woza Mthwakazi is a play that reflects the genesis of Mthwakazi from Queen Muthwa who is believed to have ruled in the 17th century. The play also features the era of King Mambo, King Mzilikazi and King Lobhengula and shows the tribulations of the Mthwakazi nation from the destruction of the kingdom in 1893 to date. The play then puts an imaginary restoration of Mthwakazi in the 21st century.

South Africa-based Siphesakhe Youth Organisation did the play which was directed by Prosper Siza Nkosi.

Siphesakhe Youth Organisation director Siphelo Mtshetsha, said the organisation found the history of Matabeleland interesting and intertwined with the history of the Xhosa.

"We want to put it in theatre for people to not only learn about historical facts, but to also re-boost the long lost Mthwakazian pride, which was once a great nation and one of the last African kingdoms to be brought down by white imperialists during the scramble and partition of Africa," said Mtshetsha.

"Woza Mthwakazi also features a young South African artist who was part of the cast in the play uLoyiko [play about Gukurahundi]. We are also collaborating with artists from Matabeleland and we have engaged four so far" he said.

Mtshetsha said he spent a month in Matabeleland doing research before directing the play.

"I spent one month in Matabeleland researching and reconnecting with my brothers. I think the feeling I have must also be shared with my fellow South Africans and rebuild broken relationships, at the same time giving a hand to our Matabeleland brothers who are currently drowning in tribal segregation," he said.

He said the play will have its first stage play in Bulawayo and other performances will be done in South Africa.

Asked about challenges they encountered in producing the play, Mtshetsha said, "We always encountered people who were anti-Mthwakazi nationalism. We are denying the roles played by Matabeleland kings and queens from the 17th century, people who are paid to keep unnecessary propaganda alive and always want to oppress the nationhood and heroism of the Mthwakazi history".

Mtshetsha said they were negotiating with Cont Mhlanga to have him mentor their technical team.

Source - the standard