DUT DRAMA DEPARTMENT DRAWS MOTIVATION FROM DEMOCRACY
By: Bliss Ndapasowa
“In the past, other people have told our stories but now is the time, where we tell stories that belong to us, our way and in our language.”
These were the words of DUT Drama and Performance Studies IsiZulu lecturer Siza Mthembu at a departmental production yesterday at Ritson’s Courtyard Theatre.
Professor Mfoka Xulu’s Zulu love story ‘Udwedwe luka Koto’ was the piece selected for this year’s acting technique assessment; a compulsory practical appraisal for the second year drama students under the IsiZulu module.
Characterised by deep cultural enchantments, portrayal of IsiZulu traditional practices (umemulo) and beliefs, the play pushed forward one of the most fundamental constitutional rights; the right to choose.
‘Udwedwe luka Koto’ tells a love story centred on Koto, a mature young woman set to marry. Tradition has a husband set for her but her heart tells her otherwise. Her struggle to realise her right to choose her own husband stirs the whole play into a compelling and emotional piece.
DUT drama studies IsiZulu lecturer and director of this particular departmental production Siza Mthembu reiterated that Professor Xulu’s play could not have been more relevant this year.
“Bearing in mind that South Africa celebrates 20 years of democracy, Professor Xulu’s play not only incorporates the right to choose but also freedom of expression as it gives us the opportunity to tell our stories; IsiZulu stories,” he said.
He further mentioned that the quality of the outcome of this production piece has been aided by the refurbishment of the Courtyard Theatre.
“With provision of state of the art lighting, comfortable seating and exterior performance area a platform for better storytelling has been established.”
In light of this, Head of Department for Drama and Performance Studies Professor Debbie Lutge’s contribution to the department was recognised as she clocks a jubilee with the department this year.
The production is currently running at DUT’s Courtyard Theatre nightly from 19:00hrs until the 13th of this month. Admission is R40 per adult and R15 for children, pensioners and DUT students upon presentation of a student card.