Bisi Bangiwe Ka Jobela and Mkhululi Z. Mabija have done it again. The infamous duo, known for creating, writing and directing award winning theatre productions are ready to showcase yet another of their theatre pieces, Umthombo. The production is an Afro Musical and the story depicts how a beautiful young lady (Nonzwakazi) falls in love with a handsome man (Oxossi) and together, they birth two girls. An evil witch (Aja) casts a spell on Oxossi turning him into a seven headed snake. Nonzwakazi goes across nations seeking help to free her husband from this spell, to break the curse Nonzwakazi must dance at eight weddings around the world. The cast did an excellent job at demonstrating through song and dance how Nigerians celebrate weddings to how weddings are commemorated in Limpopo, the dancers giving us full blown energy through each cultural wedding.
The Amandla team set the Northern Cape Theatre alight with spectacular displays of lighting, singing, instrumentals and agile dance moves that left the audience with goose bumps. The cast have been rehearsing for many months in order to perfect the performance.
Bangiwe and Mabija are the directors of Amandla Dance Teatro ZA, a musical theatre academy based in Galeshewe, Kimberley that focuses on drama, dance and music. In addition to the artistic programs that they host, the pair also assists leaners at primary school level with their curriculum. They offer reading classes afterschool and in lieu of teachers teaching the Creative Arts subject, they teach the subject and assist in life skills education.
Some of their achievements include winning a Silver Standard Bank Ovation Award which is the second biggest award at the National Arts Festival (Grahamstown) in 2018. They also bagged the Cultural Dance Golden Shield Heritage Award hosted by the National Heritage Council. This year they will debut their musical UMTHOMBO at the National Arts Festival with a proud full cast from Kimberley between the ages of 6 and 35. “We are so proud to be representing the Northern Cape on a National Platform yet again, and so happy to present this musical on our home grounds before we show the world,” commented the ecstatic duo.
They performed “Umthambo” at the National Arts Festival this year and once again, the group has come home with another award, “We are very proud to announce that we have won an Ovation award yesterday at the National Arts Festival. We worked very hard and are immensely proud of the whole cast. Thanks to The Fringe Team of NAF19, the sponsors, Creative Team, Associates, Cast, Crew, Parents, Facebook Friends. Audiences from near and Far”.
“Through all the trials and tribulations, our team brought it home. I am extremely proud and happy especially for the members” said Mkhululi Mabija, co-Director.