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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

VUKA AFRICA MUSICAL (article first published : 2008-08-29)

Vuka-Africa is a powerful musical performance about new African identity showcased using the best of African talent, which has been carefully identified and developed to present the performance of world-class standard. The new authentic musical is written and directed by Nkosiyabona Zungu of the Intshisekelo fame that got the Hexagon Theatre packed to its full capacity, leaving the audience wanting for more. It is choreographed by Sabelo Ngema of Sarafina II who also is a tutor at the Mbongeni Ngema’s academy, and the music is directed by Thabani Hadebe.

The additional music and choreography is done by Mnyatheli “Gujaza” Hlongwane who has worked with the world celebrated Africa Umoja Musical and Mbongeni Ngema for more than ten years. The music is written by Nkosiyabona Zungu, Thabani Hadebe and Mnyatheli Hlongwane.

The musical is about a group of students who are pursuing drama at university. These students revolt against their professor (Betty Hendricks) who instructs them to do their semester project on one of Shakespeare’s plays. The students want to do African theatre instead so that they can fuse it with their African music and dance. A new black charismatic professor (Qhamuka Ngubane) is assigned to assist them on their African theatre project centred on the African Renaissance. They called it Vuka Africa; with its leading character Nobuhle (Miss Black).

The musical showcases sensational African music accompanied by dazzling choreography. It draws inspiration from the past and current African experiences as well as the values, culture, heritage and interests of the African people. It centres on the concept of African Renaissance, which promotes intellectual and economic liberation of Africans.

The musical further addresses issues of key importance including; youth and women empowerment, calling for youth to be visionaries and prepare themselves to be great leaders of tomorrow. Entrepreneurship, effective governance, poverty alleviation and ethnic conflicts are also addressed in this musical. African leaders are encouraged to work together in taking the continent forward. The musical is a new of its kind and looks at the future rather than focusing on the past hegemonies; “colonialism and apartheid is gone, we have to take full responsibility of our destiny.”

This musical will educate, inspire and revive all people especially the youth who are the hope of Africa’s future.

Vuka Africa runs at the Hexagon Theatre on the UKZN Pietermaritzburg campus in Scottsville from September 2 to 6 daily at 19h00 (Saturday at 14h00 and 19h.00). Tickets R60 (R45 students and R100 for VIP seats). More information on 033 260 5537 or e-mail hexagon@ukzn.ac.za




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