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Ekasi Lam musical is here!

Posted by radio On August - 15 - 2019

Kiri Pink Nob in proud association with the Centre for the Less Good Idea proudly present a new offering from writer and director J.Bobs Tshabalala – Ekasi Lam’, a work that he has dubbed the Kwaito-Anti-Musical. Tshabalala and Bernett Mulungo, the Musical Director and Composer – who also appears in the work as a pianist, have co-written and ode to Mzansi Township Life and the music that best encapsulates the lokishi – Kwaito.


The cast is a fierce ensemble of six, comprising of Andisiwe Mpinda, Kopano Tshabalala, Gugu Dhlamini, Mathews Rantsoma, Lucky Ndlovu and Simpho Mathenjwa. Set in a high school in the South Western Townships, this production seeks to use Scamtho Poetry as a vehicle to tell a unique township story about South African Kwaito, and how its vast catalogue has offered timeless nuanced vignettes and a myriad of insights about how the majority of Mzansi are living. It is an introspective look at ourselves, through our most refined lens of art. As odes go, they are lyrical, emotive texts of praise – and Kwaito is just that to Black Life.

 


We meet an enigmatic Dr Tlale, a dedicated Principal with the vision of building the most advanced school in Soweto. A former learner of his who now teaches at the school, the feisty Ms Feni, looks to be a part of growing this vision by contributing a new way of looking at Poetry and how it is taught – this by introducing Kwaito to the literary syllabus. Boipelo, Liyana, Malibongwe and Khumo are the pupils whose lives sit in the actual reality of these two grand dreamers. All else, is Kwaito, for it is as though every song fossilizes unique urban memories into its every grove and pattern that weaves it. For Scamtho. For Ringas. For Kwaito.

 


Why this play? Why now? Jefferson says: “Kwaito music is inescapable in this country. It is ours. A creation that was, and continues to be authored by the Black Lived Experience, and it engages Black Life. In Kwaito, we have a national treasure. A monument to the Township, and to Black Life. In this era where we are in need of proposing compelling “new” offers to the existing and potential Theatre Going Market, we ought to meet abantu where they are, and Kwaito is that place. They know it. They love it. Simple. There is immense potential however in the Theatre for us to subvert the genre and create a truly magical experience that adds layers to the form even further. To advance!” – J.Bobs Tshabalala.

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