uLoyiko Ensemble to Premiere at Pretoria's Momentum State Theatre

uLoyiko Ensemble to Premiere at Pretoria's Momentum State Theatre
Published: 22 April 2019 | by Thembani Dube

South African theatre ensemble, uLoyiko has informed umthwakazireview.com that it will premiere at Pretoria’s Grand Momentum State Theatre in South Africa in June for 3 consecutive days, that is on June 26th, 27th  (15:00 pm) and 28th  (20:00 pm)  respectively. These are the dates and location for the uLoyiko theatre rendezvous. This is a great milestone achievement by uLoyiko Theatre activists.  Details of the rendezvous are contained in this link: https://www.webticket.co.za/event.aspx?itemid=1488742044


ULoyiko is a Xhosa word that means fear us. From this word was coined uLoyiko play by young South Africans. uLoyiko is a play about the Matebeleland Gukurahundi Genocide that took place in southern western parts of Zimbabwe against the Matebele people between 1980 and 1987 by the sectarian iniquitous state of Zimbabwe under the leadership of Robert Gabriel “Bob” Mugabe, Emmerson “Crocodile” Mnangagwa, Perence “Jesus” Shiri and Constantino Dominic Chiwenga (formerly Brigadier Dominic Chinenge at the time) to name but a few. The above mentioned have their Cups full of Genocide iniquity that haunts them to this day.


Many spirited attempts have been done by the perpetrators to throw away their cups full of Matebele Genocide iniquity but the progenitors of the Matebele, the skeletons and spirits of their dead, the surviving victims and their offspring continue to boomerang on them spectacularly demanding Truth, Justice, Reparations and Healing for Matebeleland. These spirited attempts extend to the regime trying to justify the Genocide as having been a war by the Spokesperson of the President of Zimbabwe, George Charamba and other hangers-on of the regime.


However such spirited attempts as epitomized by George Charamba and his cohorts will fail. uLoyiko theatre is part and parcel of the boomerang agenda of the dry bones and skeletons of the Matebele crying for Truth, Justice, Reparations and Healing for its Nation. The dry bones and skeletons dotted around Matebeleland Nation eventually found a niche to cry louder for Truth, Justice, Reparations and Healing in South Africa through Young South Africans in Capetown with their uLoyiko Play. This demonstrates that the regime cannot beat shared cultural bonds, shared spirituality and shared umbilical cord of our people with the rest of Southern Africa. It is a toll order to do so. In any case, the genocide claimed uMkhonto WeSizwe comrades as victims too. It went beyond geographical boundaries in its genocidal putsch and was indeed supported by Apartheid South Africa to put a halt to advancing mighty uMkhonto WeSizwe and Zipra comrades to liberate South Africa.


Recently we have observed spirited attempts made by perpetrators and co-conspirators of the Matebeleland Genocide to throw away their Cups full of Genocide iniquity and cleanse themselves of such a crime against humanity by advocating the exhumation of the victims of genocide without an independent and competent investigation by a UN assembled Matebeleland International Commission of Inquiry at these crime burial sites. The agenda is to tamper with evidence of this crime. The perpetrators and co-conspirators of the genocide are in a rat race to fudge their genocide crime to destroy and bury evidence. uLoyiko Play speaks to the need for Truth, justice, Reparations and Healing for Matebeleland and its staging in South Africa’s Grand State Theatre, the Momentum, in Pretoria is fantastic timing as the Genocide issue hots up in Zimbabwe.


For those not in the know, Gukurahundi is a Shona word that means the first early rains that washes away the chuff before the planting season begins. Put in the context of this great iniquitous human rights violation or crime against humanity ever to visit Africans of Matebele origination in Southern Africa, the meaning of Gukurahundi can be interpreted as a genocide pogrom that was meant to eradicate and or annihilate the people of Matebeleland from the face of the earth. At the helm of this iniquitous pogrom of Matebele genocide, as indicated earlier,  was the deposed former President of Zimbabwe, Robert Gabriel Mugabe, Emmerson “Crocodile”  Mnangagwa, who is the current President of Zimbabwe, Constantino Dominic Chiwenga (formerly Brigadier Dominic Chinenge at the time), who is the current Vice President of Zimbabwe and Perence “Jesus” Shiri, the then commander of the 5th Brigade of Zimbabwe and now the Minister for Agriculture as well as the late Mujuru and many others.


Young South Africans, having learnt of this gross crime against their cousins across the Limpopho, felt it was their moral obligation and duty to do something about it and raise awareness of this Genocide, which still continues today in different forms and guises in Matebeleland, in their own country. They decided to come up with a Matebeleland Gukurahundi Genocide theatre play called ULoyiko which was launched in June 2016 in South Africa with the support of umthwakazireview cultural enthusiasts, Matebeleland people and other organizations including prominent leaders such as Dumiso Dabengwa, Moses Mzila, Dr Churchill Mpiyezwe Guduza and others. The play has since grown in leaps and bounds since its launch in 2016.


In 2018, the play won an award as the Best Ensemble at the Zabalaza Theatre Festival in Western Cape, South Africa. It would seem the play is soaring and scaling new dizzy heights as it pushes awareness of the Matebele Genocide in South Africa and beyond.


Umthwakazireview.com caught up with uLoyiko’s script writer and Dramatist Yanga Mhluzi and asked what it meant for uLoyiko to perform at the Grand South African State Momentum Theatre since the play’s launch on the 16th June.


The humble and down-to-earth but fearless Yanga Mhluzi had this to say to online site, “We are humbled by the State theatre team that considered us to participate in the Biggest Theatre Youth stage in South Africa. It feels very great to see the progress we have made and recognition we are getting since our launch on 16 June 2016, where we saw many leaders from Matabeleland coming to support us here in South Africa.”


Mhluzi continued on what the ensemble hopes to achieve at the Momentum State Theatre and said, “The fact that we were the only production selected from Cape Town out of many great productions we have seen here, means our play and message is highly regarded. We surely hope to represent the voices of the Matebeleland Gukurahundi Genocide victims with the best of our abilities on stage and we will continue with our motto to tell it as it is without fear or favour. We shall call a spade a spade on stage and hope the play will be watched by relevant people in Pretoria who can have influence in bringing the long pending issue of Gukurahundi to closure with Truth, Justice, Reparations and Healing for the Matebeleland people”


All Matebeleland people resident in South Africa and those who can manage to travel from other countries are encouraged to attend the Momentum State Theatre and watch the play in Pretoria on indicated dates. Details of the event are found in this link: https://www.webticket.co.za/event.aspx?itemid=1488742044



- Source: umthwakazireview, uLoyiko

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