Zenzo Nyathi takes one man play to Eswathini

Zenzo Nyathi takes one man play to Eswathini

VETERAN actor and director Zenzo Nyathi is in preparation to perform his one man theatre play — An Act of Man at Eswatini Theatre Club, Mbabane on June 23-24.

Presented by Twilight Theatre Concepts, the theatre play was workshopped by Global Collaborations and  Ingxoxo Arts , directed by veteran theatre director and actor Memory Kumbota and music by multi-award winning Umkhathi Theatre Works.

“I'm going to share my acting and performance skills with the Eswatini people. Why say share is because besides the performances I will do, I'm also hosting a theatre skills workshop,” said Nyathi.

“I'm excited and happy that Eswatini will be the first country to host An Act of Man outside Zimbabwe. I am looking forward to performing in front of an audience that I'm not used to.”

Nyathi said he got the chance to perform in Eswathini through an invite by Larry Mhlanga under Twilight Theatre Concepts.

“This is a new initiative by Larry where they are looking at different and unique theatre pieces from around Sadc to Eswatini.

“Mhlanga’s initiative is self-funded and theatre must not be driven by funding or donor financing always. Please note I'm not saying there is anything wrong with funding. If there are well-wishers interested in supporting our travel in any way they are welcome, “he said.

Speaking on preparations, Nyathi said: “The beauty of doing a mono drama is that you don't stop rehearsals.

"So every day I make time to polish or run lines for a particular bit. So yes the preps are going on well.

“I don't know about others but for me a show is never complete, you can never prepare enough. While I'm happy with my progress I'm sure the best people to eventually tell if it was good enough or had enough preps are the audiences,” he said.

Nyathi said the play is about a rain divener, who is forced to look not only to past traditions but also to the future to try to come to terms with his own personal misfortunes and the natural disasters of draughts and floods.

“Told through a zestful mix of storytelling, mime, dance and song the one hander play adventurously interrogates the role that traditional knowledge systems and science play in a fast changing world and in climate change intervention,” he said.

 “The theatre play aims to inspire an understanding of and action and debate on climate change issues with a look at how science and traditional knowledge systems can influence climate change interventions and dialogue across individual, community and governmental spheres.”

 Nyathi said after Mbabane they are hoping to tour most if not all of Africa and the world for they believe this is a timeless story and very relevant to everyone.

“So yes it's one show I'm ready to perform for a minimum of 10 years. We also hope to share the story with different actors across the globe so they can interpret it in their own way. That way it will live longer and impact even more people,” he said.

“I worked with Memory Kumbota whom I credit for most of the writing. I always enjoy collaborative work and so in Memory and Umkhathi. They say the more the merry and art is like that. When you collaborate you lessen the burden on you. Collaborations are the way to go.

“It's different experiences put together and unique styles blended together. Well I'm open to working with anyone but for this particular piece it was Memory and Umkhathi. Art is collaborative work.”

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