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Friday, August 31, 2018

AMONGST MEN


(Sbusiso Ngcobo. Pic by Sifiso Majola)

An excellent production on a highly professional level. (Review by Siza kaMnisi Mthembu)

Amongst Men a play by Aphiwe Namba is being staged at the Bat Centre this August. The production is directed by Menzi Mkhwane and features Sbusiso Ngcobo. All three are graduates of the Durban University of Technology Drama Department.

On arrival one gets a sense of an isiZulu traditionalist’s homestead, as there is a burning impepho , candles (red and white), fruits, sweets and other foods are put out as d├ęcor.

Amongst Men is about a Zulu man who has an ancestral calling, Fasimba Ndabazabantu. The calling came from the elders to help heal the dying nation. This occurs after a series of negative events has occurred in his family. Fasimba takes the audience through his journey of being a traditional healer, and the challenges that he faces when doing his work. This is shown through flashbacks where Fasimba shares about things that he as a traditional healer had to go through.

The play also has sub-stories that emphasize the main one, where Fasimba highlights the change in custom between people that move to the city from rural areas to the big cities. Segregation is also highlighted heavily, reminding us that black people have separated as a people.

The story touched briefly on social issues, family, self-discovery, awakening of spirits, speaking to the human mind and relationships issues. The writer highlights the issue of fake traditional healers and the treatment of healers in general on a day to day basis.

Sbusiso Ngcobo must be commended as an actor having to perform in a venue with broken windows, sounds of the moving train from outside, graffiti floors as well as competing with the music coming from the other venues. It must also be noted that Sbusiso was excellent in the character changes, shifts in emotions and the actor audience relationship.

Congratulations to one and all for an excellent production on a highly professional level.

Amongst Men has two more performances at the Bat Centre in the Small Crafts Harbour on August 31 and September 1, 2018, at 19h00. Tickets R100 at the door. - Siza kaMnisi Mthembu