In celebration of African art, song and memory, renowned South African playwright and artistic director of the Market Theatre, James Ngcobo has produced a stellar showcase of the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela in celebration of the former statesman’s 100th birthday. This forms part of the official opening of Africa’s Travel Indaba hosted by South African Tourism at the iNkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre in Durban.
The theatrical showcase is also a celebration of the partnership between South African Tourism (SAT) and the Nelson Mandela Foundation who have come together to commemorate the centenary celebrations of former president, Nelson Mandela.
Describing the two 20-minute performances, Ngcobo called the production “a festival of our continent’s iconic songbook – inspired by our collective beauty and victories; some of which Madiba inspired and contributed to”. Without giving away too much, Ngcobo excitedly shared how the many faces of Madiba, some familiar and others less so, are set to tantalize audiences as they share in his legacy. From uTata the father, President Mandela the head of state and Rolihlahla, the young man born in Mvezo, rural Eastern Cape, the performances uncover the quintessence of the man who became a global icon.
Ngcobo revealed he is inspired by bodies of work that were written by some of Africa’s literary giants, elaborating that he is “always looking for opportunities and platforms where, as I curate, I am able to balance emerging voices with more prominent ones”. Local talent from the host province of Africa’s Travel Indaba – KwaZulu-Natal – form part of the production’s cast. The music ensemble has been influenced by tastes from across the continent, making it an authentically African offering. This, concludes Ngcobo, is “part of constant efforts to collaborate with and empower artists working in the creative industry”.
Delegates attending Africa’s Travel Indaba can also expect to be immersed in Madiba’s legacy by way of various installations situated throughout the iNkosi Albert Luthuli ICC. Activations located throughout the exhibition will all bear testament to the legacy of Nelson Mandela.
South African Tourism has also collaborated with South African Airways and Mango Airlines to create excitement ahead of tomorrow evening’s performance at Africa’s Travel Indaba. Passengers travelling to Durban from OR Tambo International Airport, Cape Town International Airport and Lanseria airports have received a Nelson Mandela book at the check in counters.
The showcase of South Africa through Nelson Mandela’s memory can be found on the Madiba’s Journey App, which allows users to view the attractions on a map, build their itineraries and share their own journeys on social media. Visitors can also experience the emotion and relevance of each location through audio, text and image galleries. The app also offers real-time weather information, distances and details of nearby attractions.