If you want to tell the naked truth about post-apartheid South Africa, do it through fiction. Author Niq Mhlongo masters this art brilliantly.
The Market Theatre presents Nailed, an incubation project supported by the Department of Arts and Culture.
Niq Mhlongo’s latest work, Soweto Under the Apricot Tree, is a collection of short stories about contemporary Soweto, Johannesburg and South Africa in general. The stories are a fascinating account of township life and a thought-provoking commentary on post-apartheid South Africa, which is still grappling with many of the issues emanating from our past.
In a country that has lost billions through corruption, we follow the life of a corrupt MEC, Comrade Mgobhozi, in charge of the Mpumalanga provincial department of Refugees, Tourism, Asylum and Displacements. We find that MEC Mgobhozi does not aid the problem faced by his country but worsens it by allowing greed to rule him.
Nailed is a story about abuse of political power, infidelity and violence. It is a portrayal of corruption, greed and selfishness from politicians who abuse state resources for their personal gain. This story shows how behaviour impacts the lives of ordinary people and how it affects the morale of a country. It shows how corruption corrodes public trust and weakens a democratic system. The extent of this problem is growing public funds being diverted away from the public good towards private interest. Corruption has reached high levels and politicians have become immune to it as they continue to loot and use state resources to impress and to run their own lives as if the taxpayers’ money is their own.
Nailed is directed by Luthando Mngomezulu, who was the director of Isithunzi, 2017 Zwakala Festival winner, a dynamic production that created conversations around race relations; an uncomfortable subject in South Africa. The production went on to win Best Production at the Trade Fair Festival in 2017. Mentored by Mpho Joseph Molepo who has starred and directed award-winning productions, he also adapted the short story into a play for the Market Theatre season.
Nailed will premiere at the Market Theatre in the Barney Simon for a limited season from 8 February – 3 March 2019. The production is sponsored by the Department of Arts and Culture’s Incubation Fund aimed to assist emerging practitioners in the creative arts to hone their skills through mentorship and propel them from amateur to professional status.