A play by Andrew Buckland (2001).
(Also a musical production staged by the Reverend Mzwandile Maqina in the St Stephens church hall in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth on 15 June 2003. City Press, 8 June 2001)
Performance history in South Africa
Premièred on the main stream at the Grahamstown Festival in July 2001, presented by Mouthpeace Productions starring Andrew Buckland and Bheki Mkhwane supported by Noxolo Donyeli and Nyebho Swartbooi, directed by Janet Buckland, design by Giselle Bailie and music by Francois le Roux. The same production staged in September 2001 in the Barney Simon Theatre at the Market Theatre.
In typical physical Buckland style, using mime, dance and song in a multi-media production, four actors playing many roles tell the story of Nxele Makana, the charismatic amaXhosa chief, visionary, prophet, warrior and orator. Makana was brought up by Christian missionaries, converted to Christianity and later became disillusioned with the religion of the colonisers who oppressed his people and took their land. In 1819 he led about 10,000 amaXhosa warriors in an attack on a British garrison of about 350 soldiers in Grahamstown, at a place called Egazini [“the place of blood”]. Makana’s prophecy that the British bullets would turn to water failed to come true and many of his warriors died. So Makana became the first political prisoner on Robben Island, from where he later escaped by boat but never made it to the mainland - he drowned en route. [Van Heerden (2008)]. p 148.
Translations and adaptations
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