Gukurahundi play invited for SA festival

Gukurahundi play invited for SA festival
Published: 05 May 2019 (1040 Views)
A play about Gukurahundi titled Uloyiko has been selected to be part of the Youth Expressions Festival to be held in Pretoria, South Africa, in June.

The production, done by artistes based in the Western Cape in South Africa, will showcase at the Momentum Theatre State from June 26 to 28.

The Youth Expressions Festival is directed at developing young people in theatre, while commemorating Youth Month (June) and June 16.

June 16, 1976 marked the beginning of an uprising that erupted in Soweto and spread countrywide profoundly changing the socio-political landscape in South Africa.

Uloyiko features one person from Bulawayo in the entire group of 18.

The production's director Prosper Dlodlo told Standard Style that Uloyiko had been chosen to be part of the Youth Expressions Festival and was the only production taken from the Western Cape.

"The Youth Expressions Festival is the biggest youth arts festival in South Africa and takes best productions from across the country," said Dlodlo.

"The South African State Theatre invited Uloyiko to take part in February 2019 after Uloyiko submitted their application to be part of the festival last year.

"About 11 youth productions were selected across Africa to showcase their plays and Uloyiko is one of the few plays having a cross-border message on the Gukurahundi genocide."

Dlodlo said he was humbled by the State Theatre team that considered them to participate on the biggest theatre youth stage in South Africa.

"It feels very great to see the progress we have made and recognition we are getting since our launch on June 16, 2016, where we saw many leaders from Matabeleland who came to support us," he said.

"The fact that we were the only production selected from Cape Town out of many great productions we have seen here, means our content and message is highly regarded.

"We surely hope to represent the voices of the Gukurahundi genocide victims with the best of our abilities on stage and we will continue with our motto to tell it as it is without fear or favour.

"We shall call a spade a spade on stage and hope the play will be watched by relevant people in Pretoria who can have influence in bringing the long pending issue of Gukurahundi to closure with truth, justice and healing elements being part of the solution."

The South African theatre group, in 2016, captured the imagination of mostly young people in that country with a moving theatre production focusing on the Gukurahundi massacres in Matabeleland and Midlands between 1983 and 1987.

Most of the young people in that country have never heard about the massacres where the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace and the Legal Resources Foundation claim 20 000 civilians lost their lives.

However, locally the Gukurahundi massacres continue to colour political discourses. The emotional issue recently crept into the centre of political discourse when former president Robert Mugabe evoked what he had previously described as a "dark moment" and a "moment of madness" to warn war veterans against dissent.

- the standrad

Tags: Gukurahundi, Play, SA,
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