News / South Africa

Virginia Keppler
2 minute read
14 Feb 2018
9:00 am

Freedom is raw, gritty musical

Virginia Keppler

The musical has a strong cast of 47 members and a 13- piece band. It is testament to Phindile’s determination to triumph regardless of the odds stacked against her by the system and society.

FIGHT FOR RIGHTS. A scene from the musical Freedom, which opens next month at the State Theatre in Pretoria.

Freedom, which is based on the story of Phindile (Simphiwe Ndlovu), a Tshwane University of Technology Student and leader of the #FeesMustFall movement, opens at the State Theatre in Pretoria on March 2.

The musical has a strong cast of 47 members and a 13- piece band. It is testament to Phindile’s determination to triumph regardless of the odds stacked against her by the system and society.

Theatre spokesperson Thakgatso Setseta said Phindile’s life takes a sharp turn after the students’ protest at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. She will stop at nothing to fight for the freedom of students, for free education and ultimately her own freedom.

“The musical is further an examination of crime and violence that is rife in our modern-day society, be it rape, women abuse, racism, xenophobia or corruption, and many more are testimonies to the cost of freedom in our people’s memoirs.

“The horrific xenophobic attack of Mozambican national Emmanuel Sithole, who was pursued and attacked in Alexandra Township in 2015, is referenced in the story of Freedom,” Setseta said.

The stories of young women like Frances Rasuge, Reeva Steenkamp and Karabo Mokoena, who suffered abuse or died at the hands of their boyfriends or men in society is also plotted.

“The music composition by Bonafide, who is also making his theatrical debut as a musical director and actor, is raw, gritty and reflects the rhythm and mood of the time with genres of hip-hop and kwai-hop.”

The newly released Korobela hit single by Bonafide and Chad is also included on the play list for this musical.

“The robust choreography by Mduduzi Nhlapo highlights the urgency of the story,” Setseta said. Aubrey Sekhabi reunites again with creative partner Wilhelm Disbergen, who has created a set that befits this musical.

His previous work includes the award-winning Marikana The Musical.

As Sarafina! carries on its run, Winnie says she’s still waiting for freedom

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