WSU's 'umendo' a hit at National Arts Festival


WSU’s theatre production, ‘Umendo’, has received rave reviews from theatre enthusiasts following their final performance at the Grahamstown City Hall on Saturday 11 July.

The energy-filled performance signalled the end to a gruelling five-day schedule which began on Wednesday 8 July for WSU’s drama society.

The visit saw students showcase their acting, singing and dancing abilities during their shows, which ran consecutively for four days.

Athi Bahlali, who was in the audience for the second time in three days, said the production was engaging.

“I watched the show two days ago and I had so much fun watching it I persuaded my friend to come watch it with me. I haven’t laughed this hard in a while,” said Bahlali.

It was a clear sense of dedication and passion that won Bahlali’s heart.

“You could see that the students have worked hard at their craft. There was energy, synergy and quality in all the disciplines on show,” said Bahlali.

Nine-year-old Luyanda Sabokwe said the production was one of his favourite shows.

Thanks to his grandmother issuing tickets at the door, Sabokwe got a free-pass to watch most of the shows in production.

“I’ve seen over 20 plays since the beginning of the festival and this is without doubt one of my favourite shows thus far. It’s very funny, but also very informative because it taught me about the dynamics of relationships,” said Sabokwe.

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

Director and co-writer Abongile Mfundisi says the play tries to demystify the archaic perception that Xhosa marriages are all about domineering male figures, and subsequently 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.

He said he was extremely proud of the students – for the hard work they put in to ensure the play was a success.