Phumi Majola, left, on stage with Ayanda Nyawo, Thobani Gama and Julia Hesmer in Our Magic Story.
Durban - Actress Phumi Majola has a magic story of her own – she is now appearing in her fourth production back in her home town.
It’s Our Magic Story, tales from legendary author and storyteller Gcina Mhlope’s collection of African folk stories and set in an African garden.
Aimed at children, the show starts on Wednesday. 
After university, Majola was told often that her home city was too limited for her to build an acting career here. Eventually, she landed a contract with the Playhouse.
“It’s like a lot of my Zimbabwean friends who love their country but had to come here (because of circumstances) and are now making the decision to go back.”
Majola plays a hare that falls in love with a pig, tells its best friend, the dog, and sets about getting the best friend to meet the latest shine. But Hagwana (the pig) is mesmerised by the singing dog.
A rift develops between the hare and the dog.
“The moral of the story is that within love there is toil and hardship,” said Majola.
Lebo Mdluli’s role is as Themba, who is deaf and short but nonetheless wants to become a warrior.“But he needs to be a certain height to be a warrior and because he’s deaf, there are fears that he could get injured.”
 Themba eventually becomes a painter and Mdluli said the moral of this story was that it was safe to be who you are are and one did not need to try to copy others.
His role also resonates with his own life, he said.
“My mother felt I should not become an artist. She believed the arts were a hobby and that I should become a lawyer or a doctor.”
Mdluli persisted with his passion, specialising in dance, and has had a career that has taken him to Sweden, Poland, Italy and Germany, “doing what I love”.
Packed with widely resonating stories, Our Story Magic is on at the Playhouse Grand Foyer from Wednesday to December 10. 
Schools performances run from Wednesday to December 1 at 10am and noon. Pupils pay R30, while teachers pay R50 a ticket. For schools bookings call 031 369 9407.
Public performances run until December 10 at 2.30pm. On December 9, there is an additional show at noon. Tickets are R30 (children), R50 (adults). Bookings via Computicket.
Our Story Magic is suitable for children aged 4 to 12. Discounted safe parking is available at the Royal Hotel Parkade.
The Independent on Saturday