Sarafina, the broadway musical, is an experience with songs performed in the tradition of Mbanqanga, fused with jazz, rhythm, blues and gospel.
With Noxolo Dlamini as the new Sarafina, the musical is set during the 1976 uprising in Soweto deals with the radicalisation of the young school girl who became embroiled in the riots and torture by the South African police. The musical is set in the Morris Isaacson High School against the backdrop of students revolting against Afrikaans being used as a medium of instruction. During its second run at the State Theatre in 2004, the production attracted more than 25 000 people with twenty-seven performances.
The play, which depicts students involved in the 1976 Soweto Uprising against apartheid, was created in June 1986 and premiered at The Market Theatre in Johannesburg in June 1987, with Leleti Khumalo in the title role as the school girl activist, Sarafina.
The powerhouse musical took Broadway by storm in January 1988, during black history month culminating in a two-year run on Broadway in Manhattan, New York, and a five-year tour of the United States. Concurrently a second cast of Sarafina, which also premiered at The Market Theatre in 1988, went on a world tour for four years, which included in the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, Japan and West Africa.
Sarafina was later converted into a Hollywood feature film, starring Whoopie Goldberg and Leleti Khumalo. Dr Mbongeni Ngema, Dr John Kani and Dr Mirriam Makeba, with the soundtrack produced by Ngema and Quincy Jones, captured the imagination of the world and iconicity engraved Sarafina as a symbol of African triumph and hope.
The NAACP (National Advancement of Coloured People) movement saluted this endeavour by an African son of the soil, Ngema, with eleven image awards in Hollywood, Beverly Hills. A Grammy award nomination and five Broadway Tony nominations were bestowed in his honour.
Venue: Mandela Theatre, Joburg Theatre, Loveday St and Hoofd St, Braamfontein
Time: Tue to Sat 8pm | Fri 11am | Sat 2pm | Sun 3pm
Cost: R150 – R500