By Odidi Matai-Sigudla
Chatter fills City Hall as the audience shuffles into the darkened venue buzzing with anticipation. For some, this is the first show they attend at this year’s National Arts Festival. The lights fade in, and the vocals begin.
Afrika Sings! breaks the ice with vigour. The musical includes songs from King Kong, Sarafina, The Lion King, Iphi Ntombi, and Gibson Kente’s How Long, all sung and danced by students of Sonwa Sakuba Institute for the Performing Arts.
The cast greets the theatre with ‘imibongo’ Xhosa poetry. The audience quickly tunes into the world on-stage as the women performers enter in traditional Zulu attire, whilst the men dance to the spoken words. The musical does not follow a strict storyline but rather presents a hopeful narrative which makes for a great show.
Despite encountering a few hiccups throughout the performance, such as a malfunctioning microphone and sudden sound cuts, the cast overcomes the obstacles. Ultimately, the audience is met with spine-tingling and goosebump-inducing vocals accompanied by equally impressive choreography and costumes.
The cast of Afrika Sings! shows significant professionalism and if audience applause is anything to go by, the production is well worth a watch.