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Sunday, August 23, 2009


(Pic: Gugu Buthelezi (mother) and Samke Mkhize (Nobuntu)))

K-CAPs presents a topical new musical in Playhouse Drama.

The ever-busy K-Caps based in Ekhaya Multi Arts Centre KwaMashu, have created a topical new musical perfectly timed for Women’s Day month, entitled Madame President, which examines some of the issues which would need to be grappled with were South Africa to democratically elect a woman as their next president.

Madame President is a new musical penned and directed by Edmund Mhlongo, with musical direction and music by Linda Ngcwensa (leader of gospel group Avante), choreography by Male Khumalo featuring a cast of 25 singers, actors and dancers all with the K-Cap company – about 80% of whom are first time performers.

There is a five piece live band on stage and the production is ideal for public audiences, as well as for daytime school groups.

Times are changing, and women the world over hold positions of immense power – politically, socially and economically. It can be argued that it would be a natural progression in the future of South Africa that a woman could emerge as an appropriate leader and ultimately be elected to the highest office in the land – that of President of South Africa.

Although South Africa boasts a progressive constitution, there are still traditional and conservative elements who would perhaps not easily embrace the thought of a woman president. This production looks at some hypothetical scenarios around the election of a South African woman president.

Quoting our former state president: “African women are ready to lead, but social beliefs and attitudes hinder their quest…united we stand, divided we fall… we have to make the point practically, not just in words, to have a woman leading in an equal position with a man,” Former President Thabo Mbeki, 2005.

“South Africa's ending of apartheid and commitment to non-racial elections in 1994 had enormous implications for Africa and the world,” says Edmund Mhlongo. “New Democracy brought a new sense of responsibility for present challenges and an acknowledgment that past colonial and neo-colonial influence cannot be always blamed for everything. Women have played an important role in the liberation. Many women suffered restriction, imprisonment, torture and even brutal assassination by the apartheid regime. But democracy also brought a new challenge: are South African women ready to lead?”

K-Caps publicist, Xolani Majozi explains: “Madame President seeks to showcase that a country of South Africa, (like Liberia) is ready to be led by a woman president. The production also illustrates challenges facing women who aspire for a top leadership post in the country. It does this by following the journey of aspirant woman, Nobuntu (played by Samke Mkhize). Madame President challenges stereotypes and examines the hurdles towards assuming the highest position in the country. As it journeys, the production uses examples of acclaimed African Queens and women, whom Nobuntu refers to as her role-models as she travels towards achieving her goal.”

K-Caps have a history of staging topical productions which address distinctly South African issues and tell relevant historical and cultural stories. Among their productions are Bayede Shaka – The Spear Is Born (2001) which was highly praised by former President Mandela after seeing it at the Johannesburg Civic Theatre with his grandchildren. There’s also Chief Albert Luthuli Tribute – One Among Many (2007-8); Jabulani SA-Celebrate (2004); Our Voice Our Rights (1998), Cry Not Child (1997), their trade mark production We Are Alive Kids (1995-6), and Just Don’t (2006) - all of which have successfully toured to Europe and America.

Madame President runs in the Playhouse Drama from August 26 to September 6 at 19h00 with matinee shows for schools at 11h00. Book at Computicket.