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KWAZULU PLACE OF HEAVEN, WOZANI! (article first published : 2007-05-7)

The Playhouse Company presents the new stage production, Kwazulu Place of Heaven, Wozani! from May 8 to 12 in the Playhouse Drama Theatre. This highly charged edu-tainment production celebrates the colourful history of the people of the Zulu Kingdom.

Written and directed by Bonginkosi Shangase Wozani showcases the heritage of KZN through its sequences of Zulu dance, song, poetry and narration. Musical direction is by Sergeant Malishe and there is a 30-strong, high-energy cast.

Bonginkosi Shangase was born in Enkandla. He started his acting career in 1995 with the production Isithombe sika Shaka which represented South Africa in the SADC Theatre festival in Mozambique. He formed his production company Ubuhle be Africa Theatre project in 1997. He was chosen as the best Director in Durban region in a drama festival organized by Durban Arts Association. He also won a Best Actor award in a play called Zama Hulumeni in the Stop Crime Drama festival campaign in 2000. He attended workshops organized by the Market Theatre Laboratory for the KZN Dept of Arts & Culture and has worked with well-known theatre practitioners like Zenzi Mbuli of Gumboots and the late Ramolao Makhene. His musical Maluju Zulu was successfully staged by the Playhouse Company in December 2006.

Musical director Sergeant Malishe received an accolade for best song writer in a KZN Arts and Culture Competition in 2002. He then joined the Legend's Academy and performed in Jive Madlokovu which toured KZN. In 2003 he was involved in recording Asinamali soundtrack with Mbongeni Ngema and Mthandeni Mvelase. He then went to Johannesburg to perform in a celebration of OAU together with Hugh Masekela, Brenda Fassie and Letta Mbuli. Apart from training students at The Legends Academy, he also performed in a show with Duma Ndlovu called The Journey in Zurich.

In 2005, Sergeant Malishe performed at the presidential inauguration of RSA at the Union buildings in Pretoria with Jonas Gwangwa, Dorothy Masuku, Thandi Klaasen, among others. In the same year he featured in a movie called I Wish I was in Jail. He featured in the musical House of Shaka which was performed at the Market Theatre, Emperor's Palace and Sun City. He is also a vocal trainer and worked with Chico Twala recording the music of Brenda Fassie. He is the founder of Ikabawo Entertainment cc.

"Tourism is one of our country's most significant sources of foreign revenue and of potential employment opportunities for our citizens," says Playhouse Company CEO Linda Bukhosini. "In presenting Kwazulu Place of Heaven, Wozani!, the Playhouse Company is proud to play its part in facilitating the growth of this vibrant industry."

Performances are at May 7 at 19h00; May 9 and 10 at 11h00; May 11 at 19h00 and May 12 at 15h00. Tickets R30 booked through Computicket on 083 915 8000 or the Playhouse Box Office during office hours on 031 369 9540.




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