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Sarafina! returns to SA to inspire today’s youth

The biggest African musical, ‘Sarafina!’, now in its 32nd year, comes to Joburg Theatre for a 10-day run to commemorate Youth Month.

Committed Artists Theatricals in association with the Joburg Theatre, will be staging the Broadway-renowned award-winning production of Sarafina! from 14 to 24 June 20 on the Mandela Stage at Joburg Theatre.

Directed by Dr Mbongeni Ngema, the show will be staged during Youth month to inspire and encourage young people while celebrating the centenary of South Africa finest humanitarians – the late statesman Nelson Mandela.

One of South Africa’s most iconic symbols of the struggle for social and political freedom and justice, Sarafina! was conceived and directed by Dr Mbongeni Ngema who has written and arranged the music and lyrics with additional songs by late Dr Hugh Masekela.

“It is befitting that South Africa’s most successful theatrical export is finally coming to the Mandela Stage at Joburg Theatre; a new generation of theatre-goers will get to experience this rich musical legacy and re-ignite the belief within young people that South Africa is able to produce work that is amongst the best in the world,” says Makhaola Ndebele, Artistic Director at Joburg City Theatres.

Sarafina! was adapted to become a school set work and it is studied by learners in schools across the African continent. The play, which depicts students involved in the 1976 Soweto Uprising against apartheid, was created in June 1986 and premiered at The Market Theatre in Johannesburg in June 1987, with Leleti Khumalo in the title role as the school girl activist, Sarafina!.

The powerhouse musical took Broadway by storm in January 1988. A second cast of Sarafina!  toured the world for 4 years which included the UK, Europe, Australia, Japan and West Africa.

Sarafina! was later converted into a Hollywood feature film starring Whoopie Goldberg, Leleti Khumalo, Dr Mbongeni Ngema, Dr. John Kani and Dr Mirriam Makeba. This captured the imagination of the world and this engraved Sarafina! as a symbol of African triumph and hope the world.

January 2017 saw the return of Sarafina! at the Pretoria State Theatre to an audience exceeding 50 000 during its stay from February to April 2017.

Tickets now available on the Joburg Theatre website www.joburgtheatre.com or by calling 0861 670 670 from R150.