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Sweat

a Play
CATEGORY :
by Walter Chakela

COMPANY : 7 Stages [WEBSITE]
VENUE : 7 Stages [WEBSITE]
ID# 220

SHOWING : February 03, 2001 - March 04, 2001

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

The play Isithukuthuku (Sweat) is an epic poem in narrative verse that explores South African history from the beginning of time to the present. The production break with the linear dramatic structure format by taking chunks of history and mythology woven together to reflect on contemporary South Africa. The play, in 4 movements, begins with an African creation myth that resonates with many African cultures on the continent. The creator is called by a number of names from Modimo and Nkulunkulu in South Africa to Dundari in West Africa. All the names refer to the omnipotent and omnipresent Supreme Being. The piece goes on to examine the emergence of capital and labour. The tension between the profit motive and the need for workers to earn a living wage develops to a very high polemic level. This result in the emergence of a strong labour movement as was the case in the early 1980s in South Africa. The tension between labour and capital results in major social inequities and upheavals leading to major confrontations between these opposing forces. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission mediates the situation. Two very moving testimonies are featured in the story. The land question also features in the epic piece. Chakela depicts the devastation of the family unit by the migratory labour system. This was usually preceded by land dispossession to create the need to seek employment in the cities. In this part of the story we are exposed to the land resettlement process that is currently underway in South Africa. The pace of the process comes in for critical analysis by Mabalane, one of the characters. The final movement of Sweat is a tribute to Ingoapele Madingoane, one of the top South Africa poets in the 70s and 80s. Chakela¹s poetic commentary on Modingo


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