On 1 and 2 March 2019, the award-winning author and published poet Busisiwe Veronica Mahlangu will take audiences through the survival journey of a young black woman from Mamelodi in a poetry production titled ‘Surviving Loss’, adapted from the eponymous book, to be performed at the South African State Theatre.
In a string of poetry, songs and dance, an all-women cast including musician Nthabeleng Darlianoh Lesoli and dancer Susan Nkata, directed by University of Pretoria graduate Palesa Olifant, backs Mahlangu as she recites poems about coming of age and womanhood – not shying away from social ills of gender-based violence, sexual harassment, poverty and mental health. She brings alive the story of strength, endurance and survival in times of homicide in the country.
Following the successful publishing of her book ‘Surviving Loss’ in 2018, Mahlangu is ready to further immortalize the courageous stories of young women in our country. “This is a gentle-urgent fight for breath and voice about my past experiences and trauma, and how I seek ways of healing and survival,” Mahlangu explains.
Mahlangu is a 22-year-old writer and performer from Mamelodi Township in the east of Pretoria. She is a founder of a non-profit organization called Lwazilubanzi Project which uses literature as a tool of learning, resistance and healing. In the years 2017 and 2018, she was long-listed for the Sol Plaatjie European Union Poetry Award. She also won Poetry competitions, Speak Out Loud 2016/2017 and National Library of South Africa Poetry Week 2017.
The South African State theatre presents ‘Surviving Loss’ under the 2018/19 Incubator Programme funded by the Department of Arts and Culture. This is a development programme designed to accelerate the successful transition of semi-professional entrepreneurial artists through an array of business, technical and artistic mentorship.
Surviving Loss will show on 1 and 2 March 2019 from 20:00 at the State Theatre. Tickets can be purchased for R80 at Webtickets online at (www.webtickets.co.za or at Pick n Pay stores nationwide).