National-Arts-Festival

Five stars for the powerful Ingoma

2018-07-06 14:26

Ingoma has thus far been my favourite production at the Arts Festival this year.

Filled with a talented young cast, a well-written script and powerful message, Ingoma is a story told by a sage whom we know as Makhulu, and his telling of the incredible first protests against Afrikaans as a medium of instruction before the 1976 Soweto uprising by the town of Rhini, Grahamstown (now Makhanda) in the Eastern Cape.

“They don’t tell you about 1975. That is where it all began,” the sage says.

The stars of this show are the cast members, who deliver powerful singing and intense method acting.

In one scene a school teacher enters a classroom with a steorotypical group of mischievous boys, who are uninterested in what school may offer. But that day they’re immediately captivated by the history lesson they’re given.

Ingoma

A production by the Steader Nkwinti Legacy

Written and directed by Akhona Mafani

Featured cast includes: Simthembile Mshubi, Esethu Siyolo, Asive Booi and Yongama Makhasi

Star rating: 5/5 

“Mamela, today we are talking about the 1976 Soweto uprisings,” the teacher says.

The boys burst into singing struggle songs, with Senzenina being sung with both ominous and powerful emotion.

“Senzenina Sono sethu ubumnyama,” the boys continue, which, loosely translated, means “what have we done?”.

Another powerful scene is where one of the youth leaders is brutally killed by apartheid state policemen. He’s shot dead, and lays on the ground when a group of his friends stumble upon his lifeless body.

Silence fills the theatre, as these characters are once again brought to life and the emotion and challenges that are faced by the youth and freedom fighters are felt by the room.

“Yebo!” someone screams, as they praise the acting and the message, which strongly resonated with the crowd.

* Ingoma’s last show is at 10pm tonight

Ingoma production. Picture: Harsheen Patel
Ingoma production. Picture: Harsheen Patel

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September 23 2018