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Madiba: the African Opera

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Date(s) - 07/19/2014 - 07/31/2014
8:00 PM - 10:00 PM

Port Elizabeth Opera House


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Madiba: the African Opera

Act 1

  • Scene 1 Enkundleni, (the Thembu King is chosen)
  • Scene 2 Nelson Mandela goes to school
  • Scene 3 The move to Mqhekezweni, a new child is born
  • Scene 4 Justice and Nelson goes to Johannesburg

Act 2

  • Scene 1 Freedom Charter, June 26, 1955
  • Scene 2 Nelson Mandela meets Nomzamo Winifred Madikizela
  • Scene 3 Nelson Mandela is sent to the Transkei and Rivonia Trial
  • Scene 4 In Robben Island
  • Scene 5 Nelson Mandela is Free
  • Finale Inauguration of Nelson Mandela

This work (created by Unathi Mtirara, composed by Sibusiso Njeza and orchestrated by Kutlwano Masote) begins in the village of Mqhekezweni, a couple of years before the birth of President Nelson Mandela, Mqhekezweni is the original Great Place of King Dalindyebo, it was seen in the olden days as the place where modern civilization amongst the Thembu Kingdom was introduced, Christianity, Education and other western ways of living started and were natured more in Mqhekezweni during the times of King Dalindyebo, such ways of living continued even after he had passed on and was adopted by one of his sons who became Regent King, Jongintaba who remained as the head of the village and later the Regent King of the AbaThembu Kingdom standing in at a place of his brothers son who was still too young to rule the Kingdom.

During the early 1900, Mqhekezweni has seen many young leaders being groomed from this village, it be leaders in politics, religious, traditional even business. Mqhekezweni has always been the centre of the history of all successful Thembu’s as Kings and leaders were born and raised in this village, we note in particular the birth of King Sabatha Dalindyebo who later flee to exile in Lusaka in defiance of the apartheid system, the upbringing of former President Nelson Rholihlahla Mandela to name but a few, in this Opera, we follow the ways of leadership that Nelson Mandela learned in Mqhekezweni and all what he encountered during and after Mqhekezweni, we follow how his family lost their seat in traditional leadership of the Kingdom after his father Chief Gadla Mphakanyiswa refused to appear before the white magistrate in Mthatha thus living the young Nelson Mandela to be raised by the Regent King Jongintaba Mtirara in Mqhekezweni Great Place with his cousin Justice Mtirara.

We follow these 2 young men’s (Justice and Nelson) up bringing until the time where they live Mqhekezweni for Johannesburg and what they encountered along the way, the reaction of the King when he realises that the boys have ran away from home, the actions that he takes to bring them home, Nelson Mandela defying the Kings orders for the first time in his life and continuing with what he believed would change the lives of all South Africans for the better “POLITICS”, Justice returns to Mqhekezweni as the Chief of the village, later in the years Nelson Mandela marries Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela, he is found guilty by the apartheid government and he is sentenced life in prison, 27 years later he becomes the first black democratically elected president of the Republic of South Africa.


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