I am every woman – of course you are!
Monde Ngonyama: They intended to entertain the audience, to display their talent individually and collectively, to prove the capability of women by themselves.
I was part of the audience watching “I am every woman” on 25 April, at the Port Elizabeth Opera House, Barn Theatre. There were many shocking instances on the day at and about the show. First of all the show started exactly on time. The shock about this is that the producers are black and three of the four member cast is black and women nogal. When I went to the show little did I know what the play is about. Someone read about it on Facebook and invited me to come along. I attended a show I did not know what it was about nor what was its title. I knew the performers, at least that’s the balance of my insanity. I am particularly remindful of the punctual start of the play maybe because I was late. Ja, ja, ja!
Soon in the play I picked up the story was about the lesbians’ appeal for acceptance in the society. A cry against gruesome acts committed by homophobic psychos. The pride with which lesbians carry themselves. And the love that loving people unfortunately waste by sharing it with people who fail to love back. I may wrongly have summarized what the performance was about; that was not the intention, the intention is on appreciation of talent I saw on stage. When, after the show, my date asked for my opinion about the production, I said I will leave out my opinion on what the producer and director could have done, and focus on what in their minds was the intended end product. They intended to entertain the audience, to display their talent individually and collectively, to prove the capability of women by themselves. All three they achieved. And on the basis of that any other thing the performance lacked becomes irrelevant.
Lelethu Mahambehlala, to many known as Poetic Soul, handled wordcraft with passion that she always does. She uses words as a magical cart floating above clouds in the fairytale. This is a trick that to admiring ears ensure they hear what they want to hear, the sound of words painting irresistible pictures.
There was Olwethu Mdala, whom many know as Msaudeni. A wacky rubbishing of the word “the one from the South” Olwethu is a graduate of Stageworld Drama School, started by the irrepressible doyen of theatre in Port Elizabeth, Marlene Pieterse. Msaudeni is one of the well nurtured talents that once Itumeleng Wahulere and Timmy Kwebulana acclaimed in awe that “we have been passing by Port Elizabeth and have never thought that this talent exists.” That is how good this actress is. She attracts you even to the minutest triviality she does. In time hopefully she will find fortune to be rewarded for what she brings on stage.
There was Donna Mclaggan a young musical theatre lecturer at Stageworld. Donna presents herself on stage with the easiness that playful children excel in. She knows at times that a move she chooses is not perfect, but she strikes on it. The audience loves her for that because at the end the message she sought to drive home just gets there and reverberates to ensure that it lasts longer.
Then there was the show-stopper Asanda Mqiki. I know many call her Asa, but I guess in time we shall agree that this young woman deserves the title “The gifted one”. I never laugh while the performance is on, I only giggle silently, because I do not want to miss out on a word spoken. That is the pain of being a writer and composer. When “The gifted one” performs I do not pay attention simply because I don’t want to miss on her lyrics but because she just makes you pay attention. I have not been to every show and I have not heard all the voices past and present, but among those I have heard Asa’s , Ag “The gifted one’s” voice, in the words of my date, is just something else. You listen to this girl and you wish Richard Mwamba was sincere when he exclaimed, after hearing Zahara for the first time, that “You wonder how many more gifted artists there are where Zahara comes from?”
It is a tragedy to hear such talent and you dig deep inside yourself to ask what can I do to make the world recognize this wonder? The painful thing about your discovery of yourself is that resignation to acceptance that there is nothing you can do. There should be something we can do.
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Article source: http://www.artlink.co.za/news_article.htm?contentID=29892