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‘Hamba Nam Ndipheleke’ follows the journey of two oppressed sisters wanting a better life

Lindokuhle Melaphi and Mihlali Bele. Picture: Xolani Tulumani

Lindokuhle Melaphi and Mihlali Bele. Picture: Xolani Tulumani

Published Sep 13, 2023


“Hamba Nam Ndipheleke”, a gripping drama by Nompumezo Buzani, runs at the Pam Golding Theatre at The Baxter from September 14 to 30.

Performed in isiXhosa with English subtitles, “Hamba Nam Ndipheleke” (which means come with me, accompany me) is a Grade 10 set work directed by Bulelani Mabutyani and features a dynamic cast and creative team.

Although thought-provoking and, at times, surprisingly hilarious, it is an instructive and entertaining drama about love, redemption and discovering one’s own power.

Buzani, a professional nurse, author and playwright, delves into fractured families and the oppression and abuse that women and girls suffer in a patriarchal society that perverts culture and tradition to facilitate their exploitation.

The cast features the “Magnet Theatre Youth Company”, namely Azola Mkhabile, Buhle Stefane, Kuhle Myathaza, Lindokuhle Melaphi, Mihlali Bele, Molupi Lepeli, Nosiphiwo Ndabeni, Siphenathi Siqwayi, Sipho Kalako, Thabo Mkenene and Wendy Mrali.

The storyline follows the journeys of two sisters, Thandiwe and Mhizana, who leave their homes in search of a better life from their hardship and circumstances.

Their intertwining journeys illustrate the damaging impact Apartheid’s labour migration and the Bantustan systems had on the fabric of South African society.

Though barely 18 years old, Thandiwe (Lindokuhle Melaphi) has already suffered enough tragedy and grief to last her a lifetime.

Having been abandoned by their father at an early age, the death of their mother after a lengthy illness relegates Thandiwe and her older sister Mhizana (Mihlali Bele) to a life of servitude and exploitation, as was the case for a lot of women and girls living in what was formerly known as the Transkei Bantustan during Apartheid.

The young Thandiwe is coerced into marriage with a man twice her age by her family. Mhizana is forced to live in poverty with her abusive aunt, who holds a deep bitterness and resentment towards her late sister and her now “orphaned” children.

Award-winning writer, Buzani, comes from humble beginnings: “I cannot begin to express my gratitude that my play will be performed by professional actors at The Baxter, one of the most important theatres in the world.

“My journey as a writer has not been an easy one. It started at the foot of Hogsback Mountains, along the valleys of Tyhume River, in a small rondavel, where I had a cast of four - my sisters. Back then, we had a big audience of one, our mother.

“I write to share stories, to inspire other writers to educate and to entertain, and I hope that the South African child will learn something from this story.”

Other works by Buzani include “Take me Home” (2017), “Igobel’esandleni” (staged at the Women in Art Manyano Festival in August 2022 and earlier this year at the Mandela Bay Theatre Complex), and earlier this year, she wrote an adaptation of “Cry Freedom” for the 2023 National Arts Festival.

The show airs on Friday, September 15, with 7.30pm. The Saturday matinees are at 2.30pm and the weekday matinees are at 11am (Tuesday to Thursday).

Booking is through Webtickets and ticket prices cost R90 and R60 for schools group bookings.

Thokozani Mhlambi. Picture: Supplied

Thokozani Mhlambi Live”

Where: South African College of Music.

When: September 16 at 6pm.

Cape Town-based fans of South African cellist and composer Dr Thokozani Mhlambi are in for a treat as the accomplished artist prepares to take to the South African College of Music stage.

Mhlambi has just returned from an Artistic Fellowship at the University of Bayreuth, where he spent his time composing new music, performing in cities such as Munich and Berlin, and collaborating with international musicians.

The show presents an explosive blend of conventional and non-conventional musical elements through the use of an unusual combination of instruments from China, Congo and Europe.

Mhlambi said: “This show is also unique because it seeks to encourage audience response. Audience members will be challenged to not only listen but use their bodies in motion and respond through singing of common tunes with the performers.”

Tickets are R150 via Webtickets.

Carlo Daniels. Picture: Supplied


Where: Magnet Theatre

When: Until September 23.

“Snapped” is returning by popular demand. Written and performed by Jennie Reznek alongside Carlo Daniels, this riveting two-hander directed by Mark Fleishman was first presented as one of the Baxter’s first productions as lockdown restrictions lifted in 2021.

Garnering no fewer than six Fleur du Cap Award Nominations for “Best Lead Performance”, “Best Lighting Design”, “Best Original Music”, “Best Set Design”, “Best Videography” and “Best costume Design”, this anti-war, text-punchy play sensitively and creatively deals with relationships between fathers and daughters and what it means to be a good man.

It tackles loss and grief - and what it takes to overcome these - and the futility and destructive nature of war.

True to Magnet Theatre’s award-winning signature style, “Snapped” is an immersive experience inside a visual archive of striking imagery and original photography captured during the Second World War.

Tickets cost R120 and R80 for scholars, students and pensioners via Webtickets. Performances are nightly at 7pm and with matinees at 2:30pm on select days.