ONE of Zimbabwe’s most promising theatre actors Tafadzwa Hanandah is in South Africa for the musical adaptation of Peter Abraham’s novel Mine Boy.
The play is a collaboration between Eager Artists, University of KwaZulu-Natal (Howard College) and Stable Theatre and expected to open today at the Stable Theatre in Durban.
In the play, Hanandah plays the lead character Xuma who comes from the North (Zimbabwe).
According to one of the directors Roel Twijnstra, although there are no solid plans yet to bring the play to Zimbabwe, they are interested in exchange productions.
“I worked with Fafi (Hanandah) before on a show called Swallowed that we produced last April in South Africa. We hope to bring that show to Zimbabwe in October for the IPT Festival in Harare,” Twijnstra said.
“There are no plans yet to bring it to Zimbabwe, but we love these cross-border exchanges.”
The play will have its first run at Stable Theatre from today to June 24 after which it will be presented in the Elizabeth Sneddon Theatre (Durban) the last week of September.
Twijnstra and Jerry Pooe directed the play as well as designing the set and musical compositions while it was choreographed by Sifiso Majolo and Stella Zuma.
Hanandah said it had been an amazing experience to work with people who take artistic trade beyond “the border of passion”.
He said there is a lot sincerity paid to the work written by the author of the novel, which is what the cast is bringing on stage.
“I play Xuma, a farm boy who goes to the city to become a mine boy and on seeing various gross violations the blacks endure and he himself has to endure even at the hands of his fellow black people, he decides to stand up against the oppressors in an apartheid South Africa set-up,” Hanandah said.
“Every creative person worries about what next after a creating a brilliant piece of work, invention or being awarded for a show of brilliance. Likewise, I was worried about what would come next after winning a National Arts Merit Award last year.
“A number of Zimbabwean actors have made it on the South African scene which is not an easy thing to do, however, it can be done.”
He said regionally, Zimbabwean artistes stand to benefit from each other due to the void that has been created for young artistes across Africa.
“We just have to know how to get those opportunities. Sadly, most of the artistes have to do it themselves or with the assistance or those that know about these opportunities,” Hanandah said.
“It could be a good time for our industry to establish good relations with South Africa agents or introduce such a structure in Zimbabwe.
“Theatre is as marketable as the rest of the popular cultures in the country.”
Hanandah expressed gratitude to the University of Zimbabwe and various arts organisations like Savannah Trust for mentorship.
“It has been pivotal in honing me into not only a marketable actor who is well rounded in all aspects of making great theatre, but also into an arts administrator and manager who understands the importance of enterprise,” he said.