‘Welcome to Bafaziland’ is an empowering story of resilience and hope

The cast of the heart-warming show, ‘Welcome to Bafaziland – The Musical’. Picture: Supplied

The cast of the heart-warming show, ‘Welcome to Bafaziland – The Musical’. Picture: Supplied

Published Apr 24, 2024


“Welcome to Bafaziland – The Musical” is a vibrant celebration of the human spirit.

Created and directed by Makhubalo “The Storyteller” Ikaneng, the production is set against the backdrop of an informal settlement, where the echoes of struggle and triumph reverberate through every note and movement.

Award-winning Ikaneng has directed 12 TV shows for the SABC, written and directed eight films for e.tv, produced 13 stage shows, created three podcasts and published five books.

He now takes charge of this production, which divides the stage into three distinct areas. This includes a dumping ground strewn with rubbish, a makeshift shack at the centre and an empty washing line, which are adorned with crates.

All these elements combined set the scene for the unfolding narrative, where the lives of a group of indomitable women become the focal point of a tale that is both poignant and powerful.

“At its core, ‘Welcome to Bafaziland’ is a story of resilience, following the lives of Thandi and her fellow women as they navigate the harsh realities of life in the squatter camp,” Ikaneng explained.

He added that the Zulu drumming as well as song and dance breathes life into their experiences, from the daily struggles of survival to the moments of joy and camaraderie which are shared amidst adversity.

The story begins with a government offer to relocate the inhabitants to alternative land.

The offer promises a glimmer of hope but, with it, comes a choice that will define the future of the community.

As the women grapple with the decision of who will lead them in their quest for equality and freedom, they find themselves at odds with the oppressive rule of Mazozo, a charismatic but tyrannical figure who seeks to maintain his grip on power.

“As tensions rise and loyalties are tested, ‘Welcome to Bafaziland’ builds towards a climactic showdown, where the strength of unity and the power of collective action take centre stage.

He added that the musical captures the essence of resilience, the importance of community and the transformative potential of hope.

Ikaneng also believes that the production is more than just a musical.

“It’s a call to action, a celebration of the human spirit and a testament to the power of storytelling to inspire positive change.

“It’s universal themes will resonate with audiences of all ages and backgrounds, fostering dialogue, empathy and a renewed sense of purpose within communities near and far.

“For those seeking entertainment with a meaningful message, ‘Welcome to Bafaziland – The Musical’ is a must-see.

“It’s an invitation to join in the journey of empowerment, unity and the pursuit of a better future for all.

“Theatre lovers are welcome to join us as we embark on this unforgettable adventure, where every note, every step and every heartbeat brings us closer to the heart of Bafaziland, a place where resilience knows no bounds and hope shines bright even in the darkest of times,” he added.

Where: Nelson Mandela Capture Site in Howick.

When: Saturday, April 27, at 3pm.

Cost: R100 at Webtickets or Pick n Pay stores. Learners and pensioners pay R50.

Matilda the Musical”

Catch 'Matilda’ at Ashton International College in Ballito.

Inspired by Roald Dahl’s children’s classic, this musical production was written by Dennis Kelly and features music by Tim Minchin.

“Matilda the Musical” tells the story of an astounding young girl who is gifted with remarkable intelligence and telekinesis.

With her uncanny abilities, she outsmarts her foes and ensures freedom to all those dear to her. The production will be performed by the talented pupils at Ballito’s Ashton International College.

Where: Ashton International College Ballito.

When: Wednesday, April 24 to Friday, April 26, at 6pm.

Cost: R40 from Webtickets.

ABBA: Thank You For The Music”

Singers, Marion Loudon and Kiara Teunissen, guitarist Brian Petterson and Steps Dance Company dancers, Shaye Caldicott, Caitlyn Petterson, Thandah Gazu and Tanya Webb, will take patrons on a journey through time, in this lively show.

The production, choreographed by Cathy Barry with musical arrangement and audio visuals by Alan Barry, will celebrate ABBA’s greatest hits such as “Super Trouper”, “Money Money”, “Gimme Gimme” and “Mamma Mia”.

Where: The Rhumbelow Theatre in Umbilo.

When: April 26-28.

Cost: R200 from Computicket or email [email protected].