Celebrating Freedom Month through theatre

PHOTO: Pacofs

This year’s Freedom Day celebration marks a 30-year milestone in democracy, and the Performing Arts Centre of the Free State (Pacofs) will showcase a performance that depicts a storyline with historical significance.

According to Pacofs, Sikelela is a biographical musical theatre production based on South Africa’s national anthem. The production revisits the life of Enoch Sontonga, the author and composer of “Nkosi Sikelela iAfrika”.

“Although citizens (and beyond) sing the hymn, the majority is unaware of the story behind its composition and further iterations in its multicultural trajectory and relevance in popular culture, as a dominant musical deity for generations,” said Pacofs.

The production that has been in development since 2020 has since evolved into a meditation on art and emotional connection grounded by a cinematic score that blends an array of genres that can carry the story through, Pacofs explained.

Lungile Themba, who is the producer of the show, said the production is an aesthetic experiment that contributes towards the accessibility of theatre.

“It merges South African Sign Language simultaneously with verbalisation and stage direction while the treatment of fabrics weaves together the scenic design, complete with an exhibition of malleable paintings illuminated by a projector – surfacing an opportunity to influence contemporary visual poetry and oral narration,” he said.

If you would like to learn something new or enjoy the sounds from this musical from 25 -27 April at Andre Huguenet Theatre, tickets are available on Webtickets and from the Pacofs’ booking office for R100 per person or R80 per person for a group booking.

Gypseenia Lion