Rumbidzai Mbewe, Sunday Life Correspondent
The stirring theatre production Blood Tongue, The Musical is an exciting collaboration between Zimbabwean and South African artistes, brewed in rehearsals since October at Bluez Café in Bulawayo.
The play has been blazing a trail through Zimbabwe and now has been invited to a vibrant festival in Mpumalanga, South Africa this month. Blood Tongue, The Musical a play written by the award-winning Zimbabwean playwright and author, Christopher Mlalazi, produced by Nhimbe Trust, explores the struggles of a strong willed woman in present-day Zimbabwe.
The musical has been invited to the Emalahleni Artists Preserving Heritage Festival (Ubuntu) to be held at the Emalahleni Civic Theatre, in Mpumalanga, South Africa on 8-9 December. The organiser of the festival, the Alexandra Youth in Action Ensemble, is a non-profit organisation based in Alexandra Township, who focuses on tolerance, rehabilitation and eradication of poverty through community theatre.
The Executive Director of Nhimbe Trust and producer, Josh Nyapimbi, said the festival will create opportunities that explore and celebrate the South African heritage and cultural exchange. He said it will not only celebrate the South Africa culture but the Zimbabwean culture embedded in the musical play Blood Tongues.
“The festival will also give a platform and an opportunity to community artists to showcase and promote their work,” he said.
Nyapimbi also said it was an honour for the cast to have been invited to the festival as it exposes the Zimbabwean artistes to the South African market.
He said the collaboration of the play empowers women in theatre from the Nhimbe Trust.
“It’s a great honour to be invited to showcase Blood Tongue — The Musical in SA. The cast is overjoyed at the opportunities share, learn and exchange with their South African peers. The play also empowers other Zimbabwean practitioners by demonstrating the effectiveness of a multidisciplinary skills-set in commercial musical theatre production,” he said.
The play has been touring the country since 12 November. Nyapimbi said the performances will be rescheduled in partnership with Theatre in the Park, Harare and Pakare Paye Arts Centre, Norton.
“The local tour started on 12 November at Bulawayo Theatre with a great response, and moved on to the Charles Austin Theatre, Masvingo. The Harare and Norton shows were cancelled because of the political events that began to unfold in the capital as Zimbabweans welcomed the winds of change,” he said.
Blood Tongue is directed by Eunice Tava in collaboration with South African music directors Bafana Dladla, and pianist Tshepo Pheko of the South African music group Generation2Generation. The Zimbabwean cast includes Bulawayo actresses Musa Sibanda, Noma Damasane, Rea Moyo and Bonakele Agnes Ncube.