WSU Buffalo City Campus drama society students rehearse for the last time ahead of their shows at the Grahamstown National Arts Festival this year

JULY 2, 2015

Students from the WSU Buffalo City Campus drama society have set up camp at the Potsdam Site today as they begin their final rehearsals ahead of their shows at this year’ Grahamstown National Arts Festival.

Mdantsane-born third year marketing student Abongile Mfundisi (23) has co-written, directed and produced this year’s theatre production “Umendo”, with the hope of impressing revellers at this year’s showpiece.

“This year’s play is technically sounder than what we produced last year. This is thanks to the experience I gained as a co-writer at last year’s festival,” says Mfundisi, who heads the University’s Buffalo City Campus Drama Society as chairperson.

The play is an hour-long comedic retrospection of the dynamics of the modern marriage between a young Xhosa couple.

He says the play hopes to demystify the archaic perception that Xhosa marriages are all about domineering male figures, and subsequent submissive women.

“There are different dynamics in any household, and I hope to pan those different perspectives through this play. I want my productions to teach people and talk to issues facing us on a daily basis, through laughter” says Mfundisi.

Second-year marketing student Thulani Kenye, who heads the 16-member cast as the protagonist ‘Skuveve’ says he’s nervous at the prospect of performing at “one of the world’s biggest showpieces”.

“It will be a daunting task performing at the festival, especially in front of such a knowledgeable crowd. However if we prepare and execute our plans and roles well then we should be nail it,” says Kenye.

His counterpart Phuthuma Sothe, who plays the antagonist ‘Sindi’, says the festival affords the students a great opportunity to grow as performers.

She says the cohort also has a responsibility to promote the name the University brand in an environment that holds a lot of potential for lucrative partnerships.

“There exists quite a lot of potential in the festival for growth through the fostering of relations. We must thus perform at our level best, and exhibit supreme class if we’re to catch the eyes of influential onlookers,” says Sothe.

The group will be performing at the Grahamstown City Hall from 8 – 11 July, with the opening day free of charge.