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Saturday, July 18, 2009


An evening of poetry and jazz with Nelisa Kala at Catalina Theatre on July 18 and 19.

The Awakening is a multi-art production which comprises spoken-word poetry, acoustic music and the visual arts written and composed by Nelisa Kala which comes to the Catalina Theatre in Wilson’s Wharf for two performances only on July 18 and 19.

“The production promotes a spiritual awakening of emotion, positive creative expression and change. It amalgamates several styles of art into one production and explores emotion as it moves through anger, passion, pain, love and finally spiritual growth,” says Kala.

The eclectic combination of various genres of music with traditional Xhosa, Zulu, French and English lyrics intends to appeal to a mass audience. Coupled with moving poetry, this production will lead the way in avant-garde artistic movements. It comprises all of her original poetry and music which, with the accompaniment of a small ensemble, progresses into a divinely-inspired masterpiece as an artist, Sandy Doherty-Bigara, paints the backdrop to the evolving project.

Nelisa Kala is a radio personality on East Coast Radio and a communications professional. This vivacious 22 year-old is an avid writer whose poetry is often featured online and in print media. Most recently, her works have been a regular feature on and she has also been featured in the June publication of Uncut Magazine. Kala started the trombone at age nine, and has performed at a national level. She also has a parallel career in theatre has played in several productions ranging from one act plays to full scale musicals.

Kala has surrounded herself with an astonishing array of acclaimed performers and art-innovators for this project. Key to the evening is Sandy Doherty-Bigara who is both an artist and will be doing backing vocals. She will be free painting, capturing visually the feel and mood of the production on canvas as the music plays is being performed around her. Her impressive CV includes running a successful music school The Bigara School of Music for the past decade; studied under an array of fine tutors; performing internationally; receiving a multitude of awards. Doherty-Bigara has a passion for vocal and musical growth; and has performed multiple genres. She has written over 40 classical pieces and has written over 80 contemporary pieces. She is also a writer, artist and comedy blogger.

Also performing is Keith Naidoo on lead guitar who has an immense musical knowledge of various genres, which range from jazz to light rock. On bass guitar is Donovan Banks - ex Flawed and Alison Road and now plays with Swell which won the Eagle Records Battle of the Bands competition in 2008. On keyboard is Lazarus Pillay and on drums is Ross Viljoen.

The Awakening hopes to challenge negative perceptions and instil a message of beauty, hope and love. The production also aims to share a message of strength, endurance and perseverance by motivating change. It is an insightful and divinely inspired multi-art installation that will greatly affect and motivate its audience. Audiences will not only identify with the narrative on which this production is based, but claim it as their own, re-igniting in all South Africans the vision of Ubuntu in the stories of old.

To book call Thandeka on 031 305 6889 or email

Catalina Theatre Tickets are now available online at or at or at /

The official launch of the production is due to take place on July 18 2009 at the Catalina Theatre in Durban, with a second show scheduled for July 19 2009. The launch date was chosen to commemorate Nelson Mandela Day, a man without whom this production and the opportunities that come thereof would not be possible.

The Catalina Theatre is still functioning thanks to the incredible generosity and support from Rainbow Chicken, National Arts Council and Ethekwini Municipality.