Breaking cycle of violence begins at home

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TO NDR Last Supper1 Val Adamson FAMILY UNIT: Nomvula Mbokazi, Xoliswa Ngema and Thulani Mngadi can be seen in Last Supper this week.

PLAYWRIGHT Ntando Mhlongo is on a mission to tackle the cycle of abuse in our homes through his play Last Supper, which opens for a short season at the Stable Theatre this week.

Presented by Ebukhosini Productions in association with the Stable Theatre, Last Supper is directed by Themba Luthuli.

According to a press release, the audience is taken on a journey when a sadistic husband and father’s reign of terror faces an abrupt end.

But can his wife and daughter go through with standing up to him?

Mhlongo says he wrote this script in 2004 after reading an interesting monologue in which a young girl tells her mother she’s had enough of the abuse in their home.

“I said to myself that I needed to come up with a story about what had happened in this house, about how this girl had come to a point where she said it was better to be in hell than to live there.

“I created a backstory for this family, and that’s how this piece came about.

“It was first staged at the National Arts Festival in 2005, and later in Eshowe during the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children.”

Mhlongo says whenever one reads newspapers, watches the news on television or listens to it on radio, one hears horror stories involving abuse.

“An example is that we often hear of husbands shooting and killing everyone in the home before killing themselves.

“There comes a tipping point in everyone’s life where, if they do not speak about what is troubling them, if they keep the pain, hurt, hatred and anger inside, there will come a day where they will not be able to deal with it. At that point, it’s going to backfire and end up hurting the people they say they really love.”

Commenting on his use of the arts to address domestic violence issues, Mhlongo says: “I believe it’s everyone’s responsibility to be fed up, especially young men.

“I believe they are the only ones who can break the cycle of violence.”

Thulani Mngadi, who plays the role of the sadistic Nelson, added: “I believe we have to project such issues and come up with solutions.”

Xoliswa Ngema plays the wife, Emily, while Nomvula Mbokazi takes the role of the daughter, Liza.

• Performances of Last Supper at the Stable Theatre are on March 28 at 7pm, March 29 at 2pm and March 30 at 6pm. Tickets at R40 may be booked through Computicket at 0861 915 8000 and at Shoprite Checkers outlets. Tickets also available at the door. For more information, call 031 309 2513.

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