‘Hlakanyana’ a theatre production launches a new narrative to Afrofuturism

Hlakanyana

UJ Arts & Culture and Madevu Entertainment present ‘Hlakanyana’ at the UJ Arts Centre.

After a long development journey since the advent of Covid-19, ‘Hlakanyana’ is brings folklore, award-winning music, and magic to the Keorapetse William Kgositsile Theatre at the UJ Arts Centre this Africa Day. Directed by South African theatre icon Janice Honeyman and featuring some of South Africa’s most promising emerging artists, ‘Hlakanyana’ features a cunning, unethical creature, depicted in animal or human form, and who is the long-awaited son of the chief of a village, but instead of being a uniting force he leaves devastation in his wake.

A retelling of the traditional Zulu folktale,Hlakanyana’ is an Afrofuturistic fusion of traditional folklore in a contemporary world. The trickster Hlakanyana is an anti-hero, beset by isolation and forging a path in a rapidly changing world. Many of the issues South Africa is facing now, such a gender-based violence, corruption, the lack of mentorship and moral guidance and uncertainty are explored through the medium of folklore. On a more personal level, isolation and the revising of people’s worldview and growing dissatisfaction of the status quo is also found in the fabric of the play’s script.

In its ninth draft, perfected by MoMo Matsunyane, ‘Hlakanyana’ is ready to draw audiences under its spell with a stellar cast including Sandisile Dlangalala, Dolly Louw, MoMo Matsunyane, Sibusiso Mxosana, Manakomba Ndimande, Siphiwe Nkabinde, Mphumzi Nontshinga and Kensiwe Mathebula Tshabalala.

MEET THE CAST

Hlakanyana

Sandisile Dlangalala

Sandi Dlangalala is an actor, physical theatre practitioner, lyricist, and front man from Ladysmith, KZN. He graduated from Rhodes University with an honours in Contemporary Performance and Choreography under the tutelage of Andrew Buckland and Juanita Finestone-Praeg. His professional debut came in 2015 when he worked as a performer for the Eastern Cape based theatre company, Ubom!, and in the same year, toured his choreography work, ‘Douche’. Since moving to Johannesburg he has appeared in various National Children’s Theatre productions.

Hlakanyana

Dolly Louw

Dolly Louw is a vibrant seasoned performer who has been gracing the musical theatre stage since 2007. After completing her studies at Tshwane University of Technology, she performed in 9 of Janice Honeyman’s pantomimes and various other theatre productions including award winning shows ‘King Kong’ and ‘The Color Purple’. To add to her impressive theatre resume, Dolly Louw has also appeared in several television soapies and numerous television commercials.

Hlakanyana

MoMo Matsunyane

Kgomotso “MoMo” Matsunyane obtained an Honours Degree in Dramatic Arts from Wits University in 2012, majoring in Performance as well as Film and Television. MoMo she has performed in numerous plays, films and television shows and has subsequently been nominated for and won several awards including: Best Actress in A Leading Role (‘Have You Seen Zandile?’ Naledi Theatre Awards), Best Supporting Actress (‘Ankobia’ – SA Theatre Magazine Awards), Best Ensemble (‘Animal Farm’ – Naledi Theatre Awards), Best Supporting Role (‘Tsotsi The Musical’ Fleur Du Cap Awards) amongst many others.

Hlakanyana

Sibusiso Mxosana

Sibusiso Mxosana is an actor, singer, dancer born who hails from Queenstown in the Eastern Cape. He has graced the stage in numerous productions including: ‘Carmen’ and ‘La Traviata’ with Cape Town Opera, ‘Spring and Fall’ with Cape Town City Ballet and Veronica Paeper’s ‘A Spartacus of Africa National Tour’ with the South African National Dance Trust. He was a swing in the Joburg Theatre run of ‘West Side Story’, played the Cornet Man in ‘Funny Girl’, and originated the role of Taki in the revival of ‘King Kong’ with The Fugard Theatre. He recently toured internationally as Harrison in ‘Chicago’ the musical.

Hlakanyana

Manakomba Ndimande

Manakomba is ambitious, hardworking, and talented. In the course of her school career, she participated in arts festivals every year and used her spare time to learn Latin American and Ballroom dance. Manankomba has appeared in numerous stage productions including ‘Freedom’ the musical; ‘Khwezi Say Her Name’; ‘The Fat Black Women Sing’; ‘Tsogo’, ‘The Rise of Charlotte Maxeke’ and many more. Manakomba has shared her magnificent voice with many audiences across the world as a solo vocalist.

Hlakanyana

Siphiwe Nkabinde

Siphiwe Sip Nkabinde is a Zulu traditional vocalist, songwriter, actor, voice artist, dancer, and musician. He was born in Bergville, KwaZulu-Natal. Siphiwe Nkabinde has no previous professional training, but his sheer talent and hard work had earned him many roles in productions such as Umoja – ‘The Spirit of Togetherness’, ‘Kwela Bafana’, ‘iLembe’, ‘Madiba African Opera’, ‘Exit Exist’, ‘Music in The Air’, ‘Amandla’ Cultural Ensemble, ‘King Kong’, and children’s theatre productions ‘Library Lion’ and ‘Mr. Popper’s Penguins’ to name a few. Siphiwe has also appeared in numerous television shows.

Hlakanyana

Mphumzi Nontshinga

Mphumzi hails from East London, a small city in the Eastern Cape. He is the first person in his family to pursue a career in the arts, having graduated from the University of Cape Town with a BA (hons) in Theatre and Performance with Distinction in Acting. Mphumzi is a Fleur du Cap Award Nominee and a Standard Bank Ovation Award Winner. This triple threat performer has appeared in numerous stage and screen productions including ‘Sophiatown’, Lorca’s ‘Yerma’, ‘Umsi and Sainthood’ which scooped the 2018 Standard Bank Ovation Award to list a few.

Hlakanyana

Kensiwe Mathebula Tshabalala

Kensiwe Tshabalala is a performing artist (dancer, singer, actor, choreographer) who has performed on the stages of Europe, New York and Los Angeles. Kensiwe obtained her Musical Theatre Degree from the Tshwane University of Technology (2010) after which she worked in the South African theatre and television industry, culminating in nominations from the Fleur du Kaap and Naledi Awards (2014). She obtained her master’s degree in Acting for Film at the New York Film Academy (2015, 2017). She acted on the off-Broadway stages of New York (2016) whilst working as a dance teacher and choreographer.

‘Hlakanyana’ will run at the UJ Arts Centre on the University of Johannesburg’s Kingsway Campus in Auckland Park from 25 May to 8 June.

 

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