“DA’S KAK IN DIE LAND” – truth be told

A commemoration of the “blanket” banning of October 1977

24 years into democracy, and for the first time, Maishe Maponya takes a daring move into the Soweto Theatre with his provocative selection of poetry. The poems, some of which served as a warning to the erstwhile apartheid rulers, also served to caution the future leadership of the threats to freedom if they stray away from the noble course of being servants of the people.

It is almost a proverbial telling story with tongue-in-cheek that Maponya has decided to call the production “Da’s kak in die land”. It is to the past and future that Maponya’s poetry speaks. 41 years ago, just a month after they had killed Steve Biko, the apartheid rulers banned 18 organisations. Thousands of leaders and activists were incarcerated, house arrested, banned and silenced with the hope that “peace” and “stability” would prevail under an oppressive regime based on the superiority of white people’s rule and domination. Thousands of people died in police hands in detention. Thousands more went into exile, while internally the rage against apartheid oppression grew louder and through the arts – plays, music, poetry, visual arts and dance. The resistance to apartheid rule included the intensification of the cultural boycott, trade union protests and the armed struggle by the liberation movements. The containment of the people’s desires and dreams was no longer possible.

“Da’s kak in die land” is the title of a poem dedicated to Michael Komape, a 5 years old Limpopo school child who died in a pit latrine in 2014. In the rendition of this poem, the audience is induced to respond, making some parts of the show participatory in the traditional story telling chants egging the performers to continue. Maponya consolidates the subject matter in line with the title, with the reading of Sipho Sepamla’s 1988 poem called “Free Speech”.  Maponya takes a detour to pay tribute to his AllahPoets compatriots, the late Ingoapele Madingoana and Matsemela Manaka.

On stage to perform with Maponya will be some vibrant young artists who give these writings a youthful interpretation and futuristic energy, which are rare commodities in today’s performances.  The performers will be backed by Medleko Meropa ya Africa musicians to create a fresh and rich experience that ferries the audience from the ravages of “The ghetto” the “Wounds” of the struggle against apartheid  and “black on black” violence, to the “scarred hopes – of those who came from yesterday’s  wailings” in the democratic dispensation.

This commemorative event will also include “The People’s Dialogues”, (on Saturday 20) a public forum event aimed at interrogating (a) the role of the writer in society, (b) “freedom of expression” and (c) social justice organizations as voices and conscience of communities.

There are only 4 shows starting on 18 – 21 October 2018. Seating is limited.

Soweto Theatre. To book tickets telephonically call 0861 670 670 or 010 446 1462


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