Baby, Come Duze

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Baby, Come Duze ("Baby, come closer") is a musical play by Mothobi Mutloatse (1952-) and Corney Mabaso (1934-2009).

The original text

The musical is based on Baby, Come Duze, a photographic short story, written by Can Themba (1924-1968) and illustrated by photographer Gopal S. Naransamy. Originally published in Drum Magazine in 1959, the story tells of a streetwise snappy dresser who tries trying his luck with an attractive young woman, using the evocative miltilingual patois known as Tsotsi taal (also referred to as fly taal or isicamto), which had become an integral part of urban township life, and notably so of Sophiatown, by the late 1950s.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1990: Performed at The Warehouse, at the Market Theatre, Johannesburg and at Funda Centre, directed by Connie Mabaso. Cast : Patrick Shai, Mara Louw, Owen Sejake, Ramolao Makhene, Sibongile Khumalo, Louis Seboko, Steve Mofokeng, George Lamola, Lerato Louw, Stella Khumalo. The band comprised members of the band Bayethe, who called themselves the Mbombela Blues Band, with invited guest musician Joanette Tsagane, a saxophonist.


Ruphin Coudyzer. 2023. Annotated list of his photographs of Market Theatre productions. (Provided by Coudyzer)

Can Themba and Gopal S. Naransamy. 2002. Baby, Come Duze. Kunapipi, Volume 24 Issue 1. [1].

Andile Xaba. 2021. 'Collective memory and the construction of a historical narrative, analysis and interpretation of selected Soweto-based community plays (1984–1994)'. Unpublished PhD thesis.

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