Posts Tagged ‘2010’

“I’d rather die here!” Albie Sachs shrieked as paramedics dragged him away from the car bomb that tore off his arm. “But I don’t shout too loud, because I’m a lawyer in a public place.” Justice Sachs tells how South African President Jacob Zuma’s chuckles became laughter and his laughter became a roar when he heard this story. And when the former Constitutional Court Judge had finished the tale, he said with a flourish: “I joke, therefore, I am.”

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Ahilan Ratnamohan is a remarkable phenomenon: a footballer who can dance and a sportsman who weaves philosophy, history and spirituality into his stories about the beautiful game. His production, The Football Diaries, is a fascinating exploration of new and fresh theatrical possibilities in which very different worlds come together.

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“When I played football here at Rhodes, we were a white team with one black guy, Ray. We went to Port Elizabeth to play against the university’s team and, because we had a black player, the authorities wouldn’t allow it. “Today things have changed, we have guys like Drogba, who are absolute superstars,” said British journalist Neal Collins.

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“I don’t know how to go on,” legendary Zimbabwean musician Oliver Mtukudzi told me backstage after performing yesterday, “but I cannot stop. I do it for him,” he said, painfully invoking the memory of his late son and musical collaborator, Sam Mtukudzi. The last time Mtukudzi appeared at the Festival, he shared the stage with Sam, who was emerging as a talented musician in his own right. But Sam was killed in a car crash in March this year, en route to collecting his parents from Harare airport. He was 21 years old.

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Bread baked in the shape of human heads hangs on the wall. In another room, a dog made out of chewing gum and “found objects” chews his leg as he stands chained to a pole, and there’s a self-portrait of a girl lying asleep in her bed, drawn in charcoal and chalk. These are some of the pieces by Rhodes University fine arts students whose work is being exhibited during Festival.

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D-Seven equals seven good-looking guys, seven microphones and one stage. There is no doubt that an electrifying, unique and yes, sexy experience is sure to follow. The Cape Town-based band started experimenting with different styles of music, such as a cappella and beat boxing, in 2007. Since then they have performed at various South African festivals, and they have even made an appearance on South Africa’s Got Talent.

D-Seven: Fresh a Cappella performs a repertoire that can appeal to anyone, rendering songs from Coldplay to the Manhattans and even Josh Groban. These guys perform with such precision that it makes you wonder if there isn’t a full instrumental band hiding behind the stage. Their instruments are hidden in their voice boxes, allowing them to travel light. To prove to the audience that they were not faking it and lip syncing, they put down their mics and performed a couple of songs right in front of the audience, unplugged. Needless to say, they were the real deal.

To end off the show, D-Seven performed their own version of Wavin’ flag, to which the audience responded with a standing ovation. When not performing with D-Seven, these guys lead normal lives, with jobs, studies and wives or future wives. They are currently working on their first album with The School of Audio Engineering in Cape Town. Patrick Craig, their manager, says, “I would love to go overseas with the guys.” .

A system outlawed in 1961 is still rumoured to be discreetly alive in parts of the Western Cape. Dubbed the “dop” or the “tot” system, it was a way for farm owners to get away with paying vineyard workers in part or completely in wine rather than in money. This meant that workers had less buying power, less energy to assert themselves, and that their communities suffered from high rates of foetal alcohol syndrome.

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Workshop theatre is like rubber – it has a shape that can be bent, moulded and given a different form. Robert Haxton, director of the student theatre production Rubber, says, “It’s about discovery, allowing the work and our discoveries to take us on a journey.” Workshop theatre starts off with an original idea which is then remixed as a collaborative effort.

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Fifteen minutes before the doors open to the 13th performance of Raiders of the Lost Aardvark in the show’s 21st year at the Festival, there is already a long, eager queue outside the theatre. The little boys clutching model airplanes and the elderly women towards the back share stories of their first Raiders show, exuding near-tangible anticipation. When the doors open the crowd surges ahead, and young and old elbow their way inside.

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