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Thursday, August 6, 2015


Durban University of Technology and the Department of Drama and Production Studies proudly present Spirit and Bones, opening at the Courtyard Theatre on August 13.

An energetic, thought-provoking yet amusing musical tale by Thapelo “Mthakathi” Motloung, Spirit and Bones is directed by DUT’s lecturer Siza Mthembu with musical direction by Sizwe Nzimande of Ukhozi FM’s soapie Kusa Kusa.

“As its title implies, Spirit and Bones is about abangoma (traditional healers). The production addresses the uninformed stigma often attached to traditional healers, and aims to correct the mistaken perception of them as witchdoctors who are evil and unholy,” says director Siza Mthembu. “The production unashamedly sings the praises of abangoma through music, dance and drama, while celebrating their roles within our society from days gone by to present day, as individuals who uphold and preserve the local traditions, culture and heritage of this continent.”

In 2010, Spirit and Bones was staged in at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, at PACOFS in Bloemfontein, and at the State Theatre’s Mzansi Fela Festival in Pretoria.

Says Mthembu, who directed Udwendwe luka kotto in 2014 and Untombazi in 2013, also appeared in the film Between Friends, screened during DIFF 2015, as well as performing in ETV’s Ekasi Stories: “Thapelo ‘Mthakathi’ Motloung originally wrote Spirit and Bones in English,” he explains. “As it is a significant piece on our cultural landscape, I decided to translate it into isiZulu in order to present it this year as DUT’s annual Zulu drama. We have been rehearsing the work over the past two weeks, and it will be performed by a cast of some 40 second-year students. A particular attraction is the wealth of traditional music featured in the play, which I felt was important for our students to get to know.”

Spirit and Bones runs from August 13 to 15, nightly at 19h00 at the Courtyard Theatre on DUT’s Steve Biko campus in Mansfield Road, Berea. Tickets R40 (R20 students and pensioners). For more information contact Lebo Sibisi or Busi Mqadi on 031 373 2194 or e-mail