i speak for the ghetto that's losing voices in a hurry/ since that granny died zone one has been muted ever since/ the only noise heard out of shacks are the cries of infants/ querying why their breadwinner had to catch that stray slug/ leaving newborns on the clan who'll hunger to their graves/ should learn to demand slices bigger than a crumb/
this is our world fuc' the government let's rush to the front/ provide protection for the angels let's invite the cherubs/ we losing soldiers every morning no longer scared of dying/ we screaming fuc' furnace fire this is hell we living/ every line every ink for the friends still living/ let's get fed up 'bout the liquor and the blunts we smoking/ let's celebrate fallen soldiers evertime we floating/
they wanted proof to be convinced we ain't immortal no more/ D12 gave them one Proof and they peeled his cap/ let's bury beef get high while we searching for answers/ hoping someday we'll find voices to replace those departed/ we know someday we'll be alright we'll be joking again. - Taste of My Vomit (Tenworkers Media)
DURING last year's 16 Days of Activism Against Women and Child Abuse I found myself in the Limpopo Province capital city of Polokwane. The situation leading to that is I happen to sit on the board of a Non Governmental Organisation that conceived an idea for a cultural observance of the annual sixteen days. So, I was in Polokwane (formerly Pietersburg) because the executives at the NGO wanted the on-executives like myself to grace the event as proof that we are a team. I went there as both an interested member of the public, a writer and a patron.
On the second weekend a play was staged titled The Ultimate Disaster. Now, Ultimate Disaster is one of those multi-layered plays that explore a plethora of themes. First; it's about a man (Bra Sol) who left his girlfriend (Thembi) while she was still pregnant. Bra Sol disappeared for many years building himself a career as a criminal. He becomes embroiled in drug dealing, unwillingly assisted by ever vigilant Sancho Panza (Ben) who coincidentally has a girlfriend (Shantel) who one day comes knocking at his door (his living quarters') looking for an opportunity to work so that she can afford medication for her ailing mother.
A few days of clandenstine meetings later Bra Sol discovers Shantel's presence and offers to give her a job since her story 'touched' him. However, he has other intentions as he sooner seduces her and fires (literally) his butler (Ben) when he discovers, objects and starts collaborating with a police team bent on bringing Bra Sol down.
Then Thembi comes looking for Shantel who is distraught due to the killing of her boyfriend who died heartbroken after many years of loyal service to his boss. Thembi discovers to her horror that her daughter's boss is her ex-boyfriend who left her pregnant with the same child he has now made his sex slave.
The play is called The Ultimate Disaster and ends with Bra Sol sobbing painfully. It is written by Tsakane Oupa Mongwe who also stars as Ben.
This exploration of society's ills is contained in a book titled Twilight; Four South African Tragedies. It is a very relevant book at this time when bestiality, sexual assaults, gender violence and teacher-learner relationships dominates our collective conscience. This is undoubtedly a book by South Afrikans, about South Afrikans and for South Afrikan and the whole global village.
Twilight has three other plays, The Best Man (Mpho Ramaano), Tragedy of Friendship (Mongwe) and Twilight on the face of Doom (Ramaano). Its introduction was excellently written by University of Limpopo's Dramatist in Residence Prof John Ruganda who comments on all four of the plays.
"In any society, incest, whether wittingly or unwittingly committed is the ultimate disaster that can befall a man. It is a cardinal sin, an offence severely punished by stoning, banishment or even death" - The Ultimate Disaster
"Coincidence after coincidence, make the play draw negative attention to itself, undermining its credibility" - The Tragedy of Friendship
"This being Africa where a man's word is seldom questioned, Alfred is not considered childish. An African man can never be barren - he is as productive as a rabbit" - The Best Man
"Twilight on the Face of Doom, which gives the anthology its title, explores various aspects of rape which, in general terms, is the violation of the personal privacy to which each individual retains an unequivocal right to protect and utilize at his/her own behest. It is also a violation of one's personal pride and self-worth by an intrusive uninvited and unwelcome party" - Twilight.
This anthology is made up of these beautiful, some award winning plays like The Best Man and The Ultimate Disaster. This anthology is available from the publisher. It is the closest exploration of society's ills in play to date and should be part of every thinking person's library.