We Shall Sing for the Fatherland

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We Shall Sing for the Fatherland is a play by Zakes Mda. A superb short allegorical play dealing with the results of the anti-colonial wars on the society and the veterans of those wars in Africa, utilizing the story of two veterans of the “wars of freedom” who live in a city park and survive by scavenging. Written in 1973.

Mda was awarded the Amstel Playwright of the Year Special Merit Award in 1978 for this play.

The original text

First published in S'Ketsh 1979, later in the collection We Shall Sing for the Fatherland and Other Plays, Ravan Press, 1980. Also published in The Plays of Zakes Mda by Ravan, 1990. This edition was for a while banned in South Africa. Also in a number of later collections.

Performance history in South Africa

1978: First performed as double bill with Dead End, directed by Benjy Francis for the Federated Union of Black Arts and featuring Edward Soutien, James Mthoba and Eddie Nhlapo, at the Diepkloof Hall in Soweto, 1978.

1978: Also produced at the Market Theatre, directed by Nicholas Ellenbogen in the same year.

1979: Next performed at the People's Space (Cape Town) in 1979 as a double bill with Dark Voices Ring and directed by Rob Amato starring Nomhle Nkonyeni.

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