Written by Percy Mtwa, Mbongeni Ngema and Barney Simon
Woza Albert, means ‘Rise Albert’. The play is still regarded as one of the most successful plays to come out of South Africa, winning more than 20 prestigious awards worldwide.
The play is a political satire that imagines the second coming of Christ in apartheid-era South Africa. It looks at a wide range of characters in South Africa at the beginning of the 1980s and attacks the pass laws that prevented black people from moving freely at the time. The production uses the metaphor of Morena (Jesus) to show what would happen if he came back to South Africa during apartheid. Would he like what he saw? And if he saw the atrocities of the time then why would he not do anything about them?
“Woza Albert depicts and critiques situations that were part of black people’s daily lives under apartheid: the pass laws, the segregation, the subjugation”, says Mdu Kweyama. “Many things have changed since the end of apartheid, but some of these experiences remain relevant and a reality to many South Africans still today. Our cities remain segregated spaces, to a large extent. Inequality is high and poverty continues to constrain the lives of many. And, as the last couple of months have shown us, racism and racial tensions remain very much alive in our society.
February 23, 2016