‘Blood Tongue – The Musical’ (Zim-SA)
‘Blood Tongue – The Musical’ :A Zim-SA collaboration
In another exciting collaboration unfolding in Bulawayo from 23 October to 10 November, Nhimbe Trust will be producing “Blood Tongue – The Musical”- a play by the award-winning Zimbabwean playwright and author, Christopher Mlalazi, 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 musical explores the struggles of a strong-willed woman in present-day Zimbabwe. The play is in rehearsal at Bulawayo’s vibrant new arts hub, Bluez Café. Musa Sibanda plays the lead role, and other members of the cast include Bulawayo actresses Noma Damasane, Ria Moyo and Bonakele Agnes Ncube.
The collaboration aims to empower and enhance the capacity of Nhimbe’s Women in Theatre and Television programme (WiTT) in particular, and Zimbabwean theatre practitioners in general, through the provision of a multi-disciplinary skills-set in commercial musical theatre production; thereby increasing opportunities for career-path development and internationally-competitive commercial Zimbabwean musical theatre.
The partnership between Nhimbe Trust and Generation2Generation started in 2016 when Nhimbe Trust hosted Bafana Dladla’s ‘Gug’othandayo The Musical’ at the Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo This was followed by a collaboration in the production of Nhimbe Trust’s ‘Tellers – The Musical’ in 2016.
Christopher Mlalazi is an award-winning Zimbabwean author and playwright whose books include Many Rivers (2009) and Running With Mother (2012), and the short story collection Dancing With Life: Tales From the Township (2008), which won an award at the National Arts Merit Awards. His books are studied as prescribed texts in universities.
Mlalazi’s eight plays, including the 2008 Oxfam/Novib PEN Freedom of Expression Award winner “The Crocodile Of Zambezi,” have all been staged. His poems and stories are online and in print, including in the Caine Prize’s anthology The Obituary Tango (2006) and in The Literary Review. His second novel, ‘Running with Mother’, has been translated into German and Italian. Since 2010 his works have carried him to Germany, Sweden and the USA. (www.pindula.co.zw/Christopher_Mlalazi )
Eunice Ratidzo Tava is a multiple award-winning actress/director who has been in the industry for 15 years. She has worked with many productions and featured in more than 30 plays, with 3 NAMA awards for Best Actress to her credit. She has toured in the UK and parts of Europe. She ‘graduated’ to a director after joining the Harare International Festival of the Arts 2-year directors training programme ‘Direct’ under the mentorship of the Young Vic Theatre UK, and has directed six plays to date, including ‘Narratives from the Dark’ which toured several towns earlier this year.
SOUTH AFRICAN MUSIC DIRECTORS
Bafana Dladla (SA) – After graduating in 2006 from the FUBA School of Dramatic and Visual Arts (SA), where he studied drama, singing and dance, Dladla developed into scriptwriting and directing, and his portfolio reveals his rich experiences since then, as a producer in film, theatre and television, and his involvement in music as a singer, composer and director. Alongside a busy schedule, he is currently studying Community Development with the University of South Africa (UNISA).
Tshepo Pheko (SA) – pianist for the vibrant young South African music group Generation2Generation in Johannesburg, Tshepo studied at the Vusi Mahlasela Music Development Foundation in 2000. He was recruited from among gifted gospel artists and the band G2G has grown from strength to strength playing widely in South Africa. Between their busy gig schedule in Johannesburg, they recorded and recently released their CD ‘Love & Forgiveness’.