28 May 2016
Venue: Anthonij Rupert Wyne Estate
Literally translated as ‘my nakedness’, Ubuze Bam is a theatrical interpretation of the life events of four ex-inmates, all of whom have spent 10 years or more behind bars. Theatre Arts Admin Collective has joined arms with the programme Young in Prison to create this searingly honest piece in which the performers – Lazola, Eric, Ntsika and Bongani – have spent just over a month rehearsing under the direction of Thando Doni. Prior to this performance, the young men had never acted, let alone witnessed a theatre production.
The show opened with Amathongo, a contemporary Afro-jazz ensemble led by Cape jazz maestro, Hilton Schilder on keys, featuring the sombre yet soothing Eastern Cape songstress and uhadi (bow) player Indwe – the reigning ‘princess’ of traditional Xhosa folk music. Almost immediately I was reminded of Dollar Brand’s Manenburg, Miriam Makeba’s ‘Sophiatown and ‘Queen’ Madosini’s Transkei and I wondered how Amathongo could make me feel as if I were in all three places at the same time.