Abused women find joy in song

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Women in Singing

DIRECTOR: Zeph Nzama

CAST: Sam Hlophe, Angel Dateh Zondo, Sheila Mkhize Philele Chonco and Mpume Mthombeni, Mthobisi Mthalane on keyboards, Mbuso Sokhela (bass), Spha Dlamini (drums), Nokwanda Nkala (saxophone) and Stephanie Pais (trumpet).

VENUE: National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, The City Hall.


DELIVERING a powerful message through song is the production of Women in Singing which ran at the Playhouse Company last week. The upbeat musical focuses on women who have been abused spiritually and physically. But, instead of bemoaning their unhappy situation, they have decided to come together with a positive attitude. Following their dream of singing, they form their own group titled Women in Singing.

Presented by Gcugcwa Creative Productions, the show comprises Sam Hlophe, Angel Dateh Zondo, Sheila Mkhize Philele Chonco and Mpume Mthombeni. They appear onstage with the live backing of a five-piece band including musical director Mthobisi Mthalane on keyboards, Mbuso Sokhela (bass), Spha Dlamini (drums), Nokwanda Nkala (saxophone) and Stephanie Pais (trumpet).

The audience is introduced to the cast as they rehearse their act for their big performance in New York, dressed in their very best attire. Hlophe definitely adds most of the humour in the show. She is bubbly, confident and charismatic on stage and the audience love her. Throughout the 65-minute production, each of the woman reflect on the hardships and positives about being a woman in today’s world before each song begins. The underlying message of Women in Singing is always smile, follow your dreams and never lose hope, no matter how tough things may seem. Keep your head up high and appreciate the positive things in your life.

The show also makes reference to current and pivotal issues facing our society such as abuse and rape. There is also a plea to stop human trafficking as the international campaign for Bring Back Our Girls continues.

On a lighter note, the group also mock and imitate some of the top South African politicians in our country.

The audience particularly enjoy this and roars with laughter and applause.

Zondo is graceful and passionate throughout the show and the same can be said for the rest of the cast. Mthombeni and Hlophe bring down the house with applause when they portray their version of Zulu hip-hop comparing it to American hip-hop, and how welcomed it was by the crowd which was left in fits of giggles.

Some scenes in the production were extremely rowdy with the cast members tending to talk over each other which became difficult for the listener to keep up with who was saying what.

In terms of the band, they do a fine job and Nkala and Pais on saxophone and trumpet add to a delightful musical.

Women in Singing is a production with a powerful message celebrating women through out the world. It is a motivating and uplifting production with a purpose.

• Women in Singing ran at the Playhouse last week and can be seen next at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown the City Hall from July 8 to 13.

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