A scene from ’Xova’. Picture: Mark Wessels
A scene from ’Xova’. Picture: Mark Wessels

Market Theatre reopens with a celebration of indigenous languages

By Entertainment Writer Time of article published Oct 15, 2020

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The Market Theatre re-opens with the debut the multi-award-winning Xhosa production “Xova” on December 4.

Written and directed Joseph Komani the production is performed in isiXhosa mixed with English.

“Ukuxova”, is an isiXhosa word denoting the mixing of dough for baking – is a metaphor used for process of raising a child delicately exposed in the narrative.

The production featurs an all female cast including Charmaine Mtinta, Zimkhitha Nyoka, Nhlanhla Dube, Gina Mabasa, Busisiwe Mazibuko, Nontsikelelo Mfene, Gomotsegang Rangwashe, J Sax and Nondumiso Mabena.

Since 2015 the Market Theatre has staged productions in Afrikaans, Sesotho and Setswana who all have proven to speak to the yearning of audiences to watch productions in their mother tongues.

The perseverance and determination of the Market Theatre is the reason that led to the Market Theatre decision to follow on this success with a season of indigenous languages productions.

Commenting on the show, Zama Buthelezi, the Brand Communications Manager said: “It’s a difficult terrain in terms of building new audiences but the Market Theatre Foundation remains committed in its passion to give access to new voices and historically marginalised South African languages.”

“Xova” premieres on Friday, December 4 and runs till Sunday, December 13.

A scene from ’Xova’. Picture: Mark Wessels

Afrikaans production “Kamphoer” will make its way to the Market Theatre stage from 19 January – 14 February 2021.

South African theatre legend Sandra Prinsloo appears in the challenging role of Susan Nell who faced an unspeakable ordeal during the Anglo-Boer War (1899 - 1902) in the Winburg concentration camp, directed by award-winning director Lara Foot.

Following her father’s death during the war, Susan and her mother end up in a concentration camp where she is brutally raped and left for dead by two British officers and a joiner.

“Father Come Home” staged from 5 – 28 February 2021is adapted from prolific South African author, E’skia Mphahlele’s novel and translated into IsiPedi by award-winning actress and published writer, Rami Chuene.

The play will be directed by the 2008 Zwakala Festival winner, Clive Mathibe who is the creative director for the Imbokodo Awards.

The production follows the life of a young Pedi boy, Maredi, who grows up in a remote village of Sedibeng in the Northern Transvaal without a father.

“With the season of Indigenous languages plays we hope to attract audiences at the Market Theatre who are familiar with the languages as well as audiences who have a curiosity for language, heritage and history. Audiences will find both works truly inspiring,” Buthelezi.

For more information and upcoming productions at the Market Theatre click here.

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