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Sunday, November 29, 2009


(Pic: A group of dancers and drummers from the show)

Sifiso Simamane to produce and direct his first production at Stable Theatre from December 2.

Actor Sifiso Simamane came to the attention of Durban theatre-goers with his excellent performances in Ashwin Singh’s plays To House presented by the Playhouse in the Drama Theatre in 2006 and Spice ‘n Stuff presented at Catalina Theatre in 2007.

Simamane has now turned his talents to scriptwriting and directing and is about to produce his first play Inkosi uMpande Kasenzangakhona (“King Mpande, son of Senzangakhona”) which will have performances at the Stable Theatre at the beginning of December.

Caroline Smart, who directed Simamane in To House and Spice ‘n Stuff, has been supporting and mentoring him in his new roles.

Inkosi uMpande Kasenzangakhona is a historical drama depicting the life of one of the great leaders of the Zulu nation, King Mpande kaSenzangakhona (1798-1872), who was half-brother to the two Zulu kings who preceded him - Shaka and Dingana. The play picks up his life from when he reaches adulthood.

Mpande was the son of King Senzangakhona and Queen Songiya of Ngotsha of Hlabisa tribe. Unlike his two half-brothers, who were murdered in the prime of their lives, Mpande lived a long and productive life before he died in his early 70’s. One of his major achievements was to bring the Zulu nation back to its homeland.

Mpande was forced to leave his home because of death threats from Dingana, who felt that his half-brother was a threat to his throne. Taking his 17,000 followers across the uThukela river, he sought refuge and sanctuary among the enemies of U-Zulu, the Boers. The drama explores the conflict between Mpande and his sons and also highlights the manner in which Mpande was “crowned” as King of the Zulus by the Boers.

This act meant that there were two Zulu “kingdoms” – one on either side of the uThukela river. Tension was created among the two kingdoms and ended up in war between Dingana and Mpande’s armies, which included the Battle of Maqonqo where Dingana’s army was defeated.

King Dingana was later assassinated by the Swazi army and Mpande became king of the entire Zulu nation.

Performances of Inkosi uMpande Kasenzangakhona will take place at the Stable Theatre in Johannes Nkosi Street (Alice Street) from December 2 to 6 with shows at 19h00 on December 3, 4 and 6. The duration of the show is 90 minutes and there will be matinee performances at 15h00 on December 5 and 6.

Admission R60. To book tickets or for more information contact Stable Theatre on 031 309 2513.