Play mirrors life on mines

Edward Tsumele

Edward Tsumele

Theatre fans in Pietermaritzburg will have fun watching the musical Shosholoza from May 7.

This is a show not to be missed, considering the track record of a crew that includes director John Malusi Ledwaba, who is respected in the history of the country's African musicals heritage.

Shosholoza, an innovative musical, is set to take South African and world theatre audiences on a spellbinding journey of life on the gold mines.

It is set at a fictitious mine called The Highveld Gold Fields Mines near Johannesburg in Gauteng.

"The play can easily be rated as a musical theatrical gem, bathed in a plethora of narrative bliss. It covers loss of life to HIV-Aids, non-safetycompliant mine proprietors and the introduction of women mineworkers since 2001.

The play is staged by Ledwaba, who won the 1995 Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year award.

Many scenes in this mature musical are laced with humour.

Musically Shosholoza embraces the rich traditions of South Africa's kaleidoscope of indigenous languages and cultures, delivered with vocal prowess by a 32-member strong cast.

The music is directed by Mthandeni Mvelase of Sarafina fame.

Its pulsating dance routines are inspired by the classic mine dance moves and other intricate footwork sequences choreographed by the celebrated Brian Mazibuko.

Shosholoza is a portrayal of the highs and lows of the life of newly recruited mineworker Jabulani Makhathini from the rural villages of KwaZulu Natal.

Makhathini gets so mesmerised by the good times and hardships of life on the mines that he ends up neglecting his responsibilities as a married man.

He becomes a heavyweight stick fighting champion, which affords him the opportunity to fall in love with a female colleague Mavi.

The show opens on May 7 at the Winston Churchill Theatre in Pietermaritzburg. Theatre time is 7pm.