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BHAMBATHA KAMANCINZA! MUSICAL (article first published : 2006-02-7)

Ikhwezi LeAfrika will present the Bhambatha Kamancinza! musical epic in Kwa Mashu’s Ekhaya Multi Art Centre from February 28 to March 10.

This powerful and touching theatrical work is geared for secondary schools in Kwa Mashu and surrounding areas. It is written and directed by Durban’s up-coming director Howard Msomi in collaboration with well-established KZN directors: Jerry Pooe of Eager Artists, Edmund Mhlongo of K-Cap Kids Alive and Themba Luthuli, head of the Centre for Arts & Culture at the University of Zululand.

The production marks the 100th anniversary of the Bhambatha (Zulu) Uprisings of 1906, a historical event that will be experienced in festivities, heritage, artistic, cultural and educational rendezvous. The Bhambatha KaMancinza Centenary Commemoration 2006 is an important historical tribute honouring what many consider as a major step in the liberation struggle and growth of national self-determination in South Africa.

At the end of the Anglo-Boer war in 1899 to 1902, the Natal Colonial Government was deep in post-war debts and proclaimed an imposition of Poll Tax (“Ukhandampondo” as dubbed by the Zulus) over male Zulus as from 1906. The news of forced financial participation in the governance of Natal was met with much distaste and shock by the Zulu people. They deemed it an insult, firstly, as they had not been consulted and, secondly, as they had had no participation in the governance whilst they fought on the British Frontier against the Boers in the South African war. The failure by Inkosi uBhambatha KaMancinza to pay Poll Tax led to an issue of summons and warrant of arrest by the Greytown magistrate.

Inkosi uBhambatha KaMancinza is considered a deserving hero, the epitome of the revived indomitable struggle against the intensity of colonial oppression in South Africa at the time. His resistance undoubtedly gave contribution to the modern day African political thought, consciousness and self-determination.

Writer and director Howard Msomi embarked on intensive research on the life and times of Inkosi uBhambatha KaMancinza and the 1906 poll tax uprising in order to commemorate correctly the history of his heroic, selfless and humane deeds.

Bhambatha Kamancinza! is a music-driven, fast-paced story told by interweaving complex narratives to re-enact a highly stylised and unique approach to the true actualities of 1906. Its unfolding has much educational, nation building, moral regenerative values and recreational aspects. It is a must-see production especially for learners!




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