Thursday, 8 May 2014
In my head a fate, fıguratıvely
We date through abstract words
They mate, lıke frusrated lovers
That waıt, for the glow of moonlıght
The sun ıs late, reluctant to leave,
So ıt drags ıts weight on the earth,
Forms a crımson shadow on you,
then smıles because it will take a while to get this poem.
Wednesday, 25 September 2013
Monday, 19 August 2013
Wednesday, 17 July 2013
Friday, 22 March 2013
Are you ever reminscent of sunnier summer breaks? Bike rides furiously on estate curbs And there she was; Young Sophia Freckled skin hides behind large framed lenses Hair in innocent ponytail She's Dominican? Island girl Her mum was aunty Bessy, her brother my best friend; Amen Sofia was my first crush, first love Ode to Sophia Can we journey back in time when it all seemed so easy I won her heart from dangerous manouevres I'd peddle in great speed towards her Then just before she and I thought love will collide in a fateful tragedy Right hand break will swerve into a gradual skid I'd smile Never lost that boyish charm of mine She'd offer me her hand to kiss. I never did kiss it I was never noble enough to kiss my Sophia Sophia was dream to boys who star gazed at night Their nocturnal ways obstructing visions of true love They'd lay still at night feeling echoes of her absence It vibrates gently on their back Soothes them even Ode to Sophia A gentle lullaby Until one night they can fall asleep again The patient dream Sophia waits. ------------------
Tuesday, 13 March 2012
Thursday, 2 February 2012
The show opens with a salvo of drum patterns, huge men beat ferociously as if the decades of oppression they endured were now bundled into the hollow depths of this instrument they played.
This is "Umoja" we're told by our narrator Gregory Mkhabla, a man who I can only liken to a sub Saharan Morgan Freeman with his deeply melancholy voice, he goes on to explain; " it is a word from Swahili meaning togetherness", and there was a familial togetherness on stage as we had glimpses of a past Zulu nation, a nation that roared with sheer vigour and power. The men, spear in one hand and shield in the other leapt and tumbled, their chests pounded with intent and they grappled each other for respect and honour. The women, exposed to the world were vivid, their guise tempting and voices rejoiced in unison as they beautifully harmonised the spirit of togetherness through musical number and dance. Occasionally they will spill out into the auditorium in full glory, unapologetic, vibrant and intimidating as if to reclaim a land that once belonged to them; this was evident in the wildness in their eyes.
Many are aware of the story of Apartheid and political fraction in South Africa; Film, Art and Theatre have all played their part in contributing to this discourse. I remember none more fondly than Sarafina; a musical by Mbongeni Ngema depicting students involved in the Soweto Riots, in opposition to apartheid. Umoja, however doesn't fall into that category, in fact, it did everything it possibly could to sway away from the politics and harsh reality of living in South Africa, instead what we have is the optimist's approach, satirical reflection of mainstream South African culture and the decision to revel in wondrous discovery of Sheebebs underground clubs where, we're told, the likes of Miriam Makeba and the Soul Brothers careers were birthed.
Todd Twala's choreography although engaging at first became repetitive and all too predictable, the music seemed at its best in the first half when the richness of African voices flowed easily and with cadence to traditional music, the transition into contemporary Kwaito seemed unnatural and the Gospel explosion turned our spirited songstress into Sister Mary Clarence.
This didn't matter however, what we saw was a new nation celebrating its history, their spirit relentless and passion uninhibited. Their message was clear and poignant; it's the past and present that makes us great, the spirit of Umoja travels through time and on a night where sub zero temperature battered the streets of London, I was at least grateful to be transported to a warmer climate.
Booking until February 19, Box Office: 0844 412 4300