Tuesday, February 8, 2011

'Songs of Migration' is Pure Musical Joy

Nondumiso Shabangu

Like most people you would find it very strange that I am a huge Hugh Masekela fan. I know how cliché that sounds but that is the truth. You can imagine how excited I was to finally get my hands on the tickets to go watch the musical, “Songs of Migration”. I get to the Market Theatre very early to witness one of the 101 things I want to do before I die and that is to see Hugh Masekela on stage with his legendary trumpet. With great suspense we wait for the show to start only to be told that one of the main acts has fallen very ill due to that the show is cancelled. I was shattered but all hope was not lost I re-scheduled for the next following Sunday as disappointed as I was. I was not willing to watch another show or ask for a refund.

The following Sunday the show went on as planned. I think it’s a story that most Africans would be familiar with as this is a continent of migration. Even today one finds people leaving their countries of birth to find employment in other parts of the world. Some move for education purposes.

In the past men would move from various parts of Southern Africa like Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique to work in the mines of Johannesburg. That helped build South Africa’s economy and created the multi-cultural society that we have.

South Africans fleeing kwaZulu ran away from what they saw as the tranny of King Shaka kaSenzangakhona and settled in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Mozambique.

Through all that movement there always was music as that is a huge part of the people that we Africans are.

Through the use of drama and music Hugh Masekela and James Ngcobo wrote the story of how this African migration took place from the times of slavery to modern day society. Celebrated television and stage actor, Ngcobo, also directed the play.

Photo: http://www.artlink.co.za/
The play stars Hugh Masekela and jazz great Gloria Bosman and the songs they sing are those of loss, pain, celebration and excitement. Bosman’s role was previously played by internationally acclaimed and multi-award winning soprano, Sibongile Khumalo.

Songs of Migration ends on 13 February 2011 at Johannesburg’s State Theatre.

No comments:

Post a Comment