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Wednesday, May 16, 2018


This Africa Month, the South African State Theatre in Pretoria presents a hard-hitting play entitled Refugees that shines light on humiliating realities in the journey of refugees in Africa.

The play follows people reduced to statistics trapped in a refugee camp. It takes audiences through personal stories of refugees expressing their pain, sadness, soul-searching, hope, questioning and exploring the power of religion and spirituality. A tale that questions the state of freedom. How far are we to being free? The story is told through movement, song, images, and narration.

Refugees director Mpho Jerry Pooe says it’s fitting for this play to take centre stage in Africa Month. “We dedicate this play to Africa Month as it will make a big impact in making our people aware of their own continent. This is an attempt to free our communities from ignorance. Our hope of making our continent peaceful continues, our quest to challenge the world that Africa is not a dark continent continues.”

Pooe is the former Artistic Director for Windybrow Theatre with over 25 years’ experience in the arts industry. He has written and directed over 20 productions. The Soweto-born’s work is popular in his career province KwaZulu-Natal where plays like Moipone, Peace in the Valley, Ekhaya Poppie, and Dinuzulu have been staged at the Playhouse Theatre. Another musical he wrote and directed, King Cetshwayo The Musical, toured the UK last year, 2017.

“There are no answers or solutions except informing the audience about the realities of being a refugee, the pain, the humiliation that they go through. The story is told through an African Eye, digging deeper at the hidden greed by the West in ravaging our continent. As a Pan African it is on our shoulders to tell our stories. Aluta Continua!” added Pooe.

The cast includes well-known KZN actors Mpume Mthombeni; Musawenkosi Shabalala; Thamsanqa Silindana; Gabriel Mpanza; Xolani Henema; Stella Zuma and Buhle Nkomo. Choreography is by Reggie Denster with lighting design by Peter Mokgosi.

This production is presented in association with Wushwini Pan African Centre for Arts Culture and Heritage based in KwaNgcolosi, KZN. The arts centre is focused on developing community youth to become skilled artists for the arts industry. Pooe is founder and Managing Director of the centre.

Refugees has performances at the South African State Theatre from May 16 to 27, 2018. Tickets R110 (R55 on Tuesday nights) booked at Computicket.