THEATRE: Johnnie Motsamai
Review by NONJABULO NTULI
A celebrity called Johnnie Motsamai resides in a glamorous mansion filled with Johnnie Walker bottles in Joburg. Motsamai meets with a wannabe artist, Maria, and they quickly develop a romantic relationship. He unapologetically divulges that South African artists don’t know their rights and takes advantage of this, making it clear that his success has resulted from other artists’ work.
Johnnie Motsamai brings us into the world of a struggling artist, Soul, who becomes a victim of Maria’s theft. Anger is inevitable as one witnesses Soul’s work being stolen and the lack of support for artists in South Africa.
This impeccable theatrical work explores themes of forgiveness and the difficulties of getting into the arts industry. The cast of three – Nthabeleng Masudubele, Mncedisi Hadebe and Tshegofatso Ramela – take on multiple roles, displaying bright, believable and immersive theatrics. Their beautiful singing complemented their acting, creating a fully immersive experience.
Thabang Kwebu, the playwright, director, and a proud Market Theatre Laboratory graduate, describes the play as a celebration of legendary Sol Rachilo, a veteran playwright, poet, and cultural activist, while he is still alive. Johnnie Motsamai will still be showing from 25-27 June. Buy your tickets online for a memorable journey in the lives of South African artists.