Poignant play hits a nerve with message

Sipho Masombuka

Sipho Masombuka

A Mamelodi artist, Kenneth Mmekwa is, at 31, already a legend in his own right

Mmekwa is the driving force and direction behind a captivating theatre production that deals with the social crises and challenges that are faced by society in the poor and crime-ridden post-apartheid townships.

Written by playwright Jabulile Maluleka, the musical drama Mosito, includes in its cast 28 talented young members who magnificently deliver the production in a crisp and lively manner.

The play revolves around Bra Sash, superbly portrayed by 26-year-old Pretoria actor Otto Mkhaliphi, a bitter and retired artist from an imaginary black township called Maropeng.

Bra Sash is a sorry shadow of his former self and ekes out a living as a tailor. The youth of Maropeng are battling to cope with the challenges of the post-apartheid era such as poverty, crime and drug abuse.

They discover that political freedom has been attained, but do not know how to use this freedom to their advantage.

They slide into abuse of drugs, alcohol and in criminal activities.

Concerned artists and parents approach Bra Sash to use his artistic talent and background to instil a sense of worth and direction, and to mentor the morally degenerating youth of Maropeng.

The artists and parents find that Bra Sash's mind is as hard as a rock. So they decide to stage a sit-in at his workshop, demanding that he hears them out or, at least, thinks about their request.

Bra Sash reluctantly agrees to mentor the young people, but this happens only after a long-buried secret surfaces - a secret that drastically changes his life and those around him.

This is a moving play, delivered in a poignant but anecdotal and vigorous manner which portrays the effects of a lack of direction and motivation among the youth in post-apartheid South Africa.