Quest to un­lock men­tal pris­ons to free Africans

Undo the Fu­ture aims to im­press on self-worth

Sowetan - - Time Out - By Pa­tience Bam­balele

Undo the Fu­ture, a con­cept that is aimed at de­colonis­ing the minds of Africans, will be staged tonight at the Soweto The­atre in Jab­u­lani.

The con­cept fea­tures a dance piece ti­tled Dark Cell by Themba Mbuli and mu­sic by Ler­ato Lich­aba.

Undo the Fu­ture is a call to en­gage in di­a­logue about mak­ing blacks un­der­stand their roots and seek­ing a so­lu­tion to the prob­lems of the past that af­fect the present.

Ac­cord­ing to Mbuli, Dark Cell is in­spired by metaphors from im­agery of ex-po­lit­i­cal pris­on­ers on Robben Is­land. The work uses the con­cept of a prison cell as a metaphor for men­tal im­pris­on­ment.

“The mind is the worst prison a man can ever be in. While celebrating and com­mem­o­rat­ing South African his­tory, the piece is em­bed­ded in the past as a mir­ror of con­tem­po­rary so­ci­ety and re­flec­tion of post-colo­nial in­fe­ri­or­i­ties.”

Mbuli ex­plains that Dark Cell en­cour­ages men­tal free­dom, and re­minds peo­ple that they are re­spon­si­ble for their own self-free­dom de­spite all the so­cial, po­lit­i­cal and eco­nomic chal­lenges. “The work uses props to an­i­mate dance move­ments and as­pires to take the au­di­ence into a jour­ney of re­al­i­sa­tion.”

Dark Cell also cel­e­brates and com­mem­o­rates South African his­tory.

Mu­si­cal in­sert Cor­ners of For­got­ten The­o­ries is in­spired by the scarcity of knowl­edge that de­fines African peo­ple beyond the mod­ern life­style.

The con­cep­tu­alised project is a sound scape of mu­si­cal free­dom that aims to chan­nel Africans as pri­mar­ily spir­i­tual and emo­tional be­ings.

Lich­aba, the per­former, says: “We are in­creas­ingly mov­ing away from our iden­tity and cul­tural do­min­ion and thus not putting into place struc­tures and plat­forms that com­ple­ment our tra­di­tions and her­itage. Through this project, I aim to in­tro­duce lis­ten­ers to their in­ner self, to re­con­nect them to their roots through ob­serv­ing the silent noise within and spir­ited self that goes beyond ma­te­rial gain and so­cial ac­cep­tance.”

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Themba Mbuli in full flight in the dance piece Dark Cell.

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Ler­ato Lich­aba pro­vides the mu­sic for Undo the Fu­ture con­cept.

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