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Saturday, November 28, 2015


The Garden Boy, written and acted by the multi-talented Khaya Ngema, will be presented at the Bat Centre from December 4 to 6. It is directed by veteran all-round drama practitioner Thami Skhosana who directed All Gone, Just for You, and won an award for Sitting Around The Fire.

An actor, composer, guitarist, playwright and comedian, Khaya Ngema was among the top five finalsts in SABC 1’s So You Think You Are Funny. He has shared the stage with many comedians in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. He recently appeared in Rhythm City, Uzalo and his own product film Igomondela which won the award at KZN Young Achievers Awards. He is also touring with school setworks productions for matrics in all corners of KZN, Mpumalanga, Free State and Eastern Cape.

The Garden Boy is based on the Ngema’s own story and aims to celebrate 21 years of democracy while reminding people of the history of oppression.

The show is set during the 80's at Amaoti during the attacks between UDF and IFP, a time when protests against apartheid government were ended by the security forces with guns and teargas. A time of kangaroo courts, necklace, discipline which was called ukugona uBrenda, other people had two membership cards of the organisation to secure themselves.

The story is told in toitoi, slogans, songs of the struggle, chants, powerful dialogues, narrations, mimicking, changing of characters and maskandi music where the actor was inspired by his father who was a guitarist.

The central character, Sizwe Mngadi, tells the story of his father - nicknamed by the security forces as “the garden boy” because they could not pronounce Mngadi. His father was a tuckshop owner and loyal and committed member of UDF. He was the ring leader of UDF at Amaoti and was forefront in forming the street committees and disciplining unfaithful comrades. He was also in charge of dealing with the com-tsotsis. He was also detained by the security force.

He died as he was trying to fight Black on Black violence when his tuckshop and house were set alight. He suffered from oxygen failure while helping his child escape from the burning house.

The Garden Boy runs at the Bat Centre from December 4 to 6 with performances daily at 14h30 and 20h00. Bookings on 083 4757 032.