Sunduza Dance Ensemble goes down memory lane with Injabulo play

12 May, 2021 - 00:05 0 Views
Sunduza Dance Ensemble goes down memory lane with Injabulo play

The Chronicle

Mthabisi Tshuma, Showbiz Correspondent
ARTS outfit, Sunduza Dance Theatre will take to the Bulawayo Theatre stage on Thursday where they will showcase Injabulo, a play that is very dear to them as it was their first full stage production that led to their breakthrough 35 years ago.

The renowned group will take people down memory lane with the production which will be staged through sponsorship by Matopos Music from the UK.

The show is expected to start at 2.30PM.

The outfit’s director Charles Banda said they will be showcasing the play in memory of the group’s late members who played a pivotal role in making the group what it is today.

“Thirty-five years after the group was formed, we’ll see a revival of the group’s first full stage production, Injabulo.”

It’s a play that marked the launch of the group as the High Stars Sunduza Boys in 1985. It also took the group to the UK in 1992 in what was their first tour.

“Injabulo follows the story of a young man growing up in his rural area and relocating to South Africa to find work in the mines although he dreams of becoming a musician,” Banda said.

He added that the glory of Sunduza Dance Ensemble’s first work will be celebrated with new footage using modern technology from Veins Media.

“The original central star for the show had Simon Banda who was strongly supported by Elijah Mbambo, Misheck Moyo and the late Alec Ncube who ended his career performing with Black Umfolosi.

Sunduza Dance Theatre members

“Baphi Mdladla and Khalipani Ndlovu continue to delight having been with the group since the first 1992 tour.

“The young man in Injabulo is now being played by up-and-coming actor Ntando Sithole with his stunning tenor vocals.

“He will be supported by Mkhululi Khanye as the mine captain and chief choreographer as well as a fine cast that the audience will definitely be awed by,” said Banda.

He said the timeless production which has many traditional and modern dances is still a hit among theatre audiences, especially children.

During the lockdown, Banda said they got to tap into the virtual space. Reflecting on the past years of the arts outfit, Banda said: “Injabulo as the group is now known, had a strong anti-apartheid sentiment.

“As time went on, the group moved with the times and changed its character to being very much, a family affair suitable for young people.

“The group after their first UK tour, within a year, started to include women. It changed from performing purely a cappella concerts to full musical dance theatre. Sadly there was a long break in full touring after 2002 while a huge schools programme was developed in Yorkshire (UK),” Banda said.

“Week-long workshops steered by the late Simon Banda and late Mandla Sibanda simply created unstoppable careers in linking the arts to the UK curriculum in many imaginative ways.”

Banda has been leading the group in reviving his father’s older songs and introducing some exciting new repertoire. Wonderful songs such as Imali, Nompilo, Sinikiwe, Istimela that have wowed people from London to Singapore and as far as Vancouver will finally be heard again in the city, said Banda.

The group has also revived several productions in the last few years to reach an international level of competence. These include Voices from the Rocks – the Story of the Matopos and the Adventures of Robert Moffat. [email protected]_mthire

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