2015 National Art Merit Awards (Nama) Outstanding Theatre production – UMbiko kaMadlenya cast attributed their winning to hard work.The theatrical production which was first showcased at the Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo last year also scooped Namas for outstanding male actor (Memory Kumbota), female actress (Bathabile Dlamini) and director (Nelson Mapako). UMbiko kaMadlenya producer – Raisedon Baya said winning the awards did not come as a surprise to them as they had gone all out to ensure they produced a quality product.
“Our aim was to ensure people watch good production so that they appreciate theatre. Everyone as a result worked extra hard to make sure our work was not sub-standard. The whole team is very excited to have been recognised by the nation as this shows that people appreciate our efforts. It encourages us to keep working hard,” said Baya.
He said he believed that the casts’ fusion also helped them to come up with a better production.
Asked when the production would be taken to other cities after its success in Bulawayo, the play’s director, Nelson Mapako said they would need to be financed.
“Our production is very big as we have many people. We’d love to take our work outside the country but we can only do so when we get adequate financial support.
“It’s a nightmare when you think or even try to calculate half the travelling costs for the cast as they’ll need accommodation and transport before we can even think of other extra costs. But with the help of Bulawayo City Council, we hope to go a step further,” Mapako said.
He said they wanted to package the play into a DVD to enable people to watch from the comfort of their homes. Sadly, the production will not be shown anytime soon.
The 25-member cast is already working on more productions with a bias on local stories as they want to educate people on their history in an exciting way.
UMbiko kaMadlenya is a theatrical stage adaptation of the novel UMbiko kaMadlenya written by the late Mayford Sibanda. It is a succession story about Mzilikazi and events which happened two years after his death.