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UKZN student brings 'Wilting Lillies' to National Arts Festival

By Afikile Lugunya - Jul 5, 2018
UKZN student brings 'Wilting Lillies' to National Arts Festival

It’s the last week of the Grahamstown National Arts Festival that started from the 28th of June.

On Wednesday, art lovers got the chance to watch an exciting and trilling play, Wilting Lilies, which was written by 22-year-old Samkelo Ngcobo, who is currently doing his Honours degree in Drama at the University of Kwazulu Natal.

Ngcobo discovered his acting talent at a very young age when he was still in Primary School and later decided to study drama to perfect his natural born talent.

To determine whether he passes or fails one of his module scriptwriting, Ngcobo says that they were given an assignment to write a play at the UKZN.

He came up with Wilting Lilies, which he performed for the first time at the National Arts Festival.

“I embody humans as flowers because I believe that we are all in a garden that only grows under the guidance of parents and loved ones, but what happens when the garden is no longer cared? It begins to wilt,” he describes.

Wilting Lilies explores human masculinity.

“I wrote about masculinity because the existing dominates form of masculinity is one which I’ve never found myself to be a part of," Ngcobo says .

“I’m not in sports especially soccer, I don’t have any physical attributes of what a man should look when compared to Men magazine, so the idea is to show two different types of masculinity but as brothers.”

He adds that the play is to educate people about the importance of expressing feelings when families are seated at the dinner table especially with men, who always have a fear of what will people say.

“It tackles many issues that black people don’t want to tackle. It’s about suicide, it’s about issues in our country or amongst our people that we never talk about.”

Ngcobo also adds that he was brought up in a home, which many people would describe as female dominated, which also inspired him to write another play about tackling patriarchy, race and gender.

It is titled Queens without comparison to men.

Although, he just started out, finding more places to perform until he reaches his dream of taking his play abroad is one of his missions.

He added that his lecturer, Tamar Meskin, has been his driving source as well as “Gcina Mhlophe, my second mother and reminder to never lose focus from the arts, to never chase after fame. Do what you believe is the right thing to do and live a peaceful life.”

“There’s no point in writing a play if you’re not committed, not giving away a piece of your own life and one day to be able to look back and be proud of your work,” Ngcobo describes.

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