New ‘Kiu’ musical reflects Africa’s water crisis


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KIUWhen the musical ‘Kiu’ premiers at the SA State Theatre a theatre mirror will be up to reflect the water crisis facing South Africa and the African continent.

Kiu, the Swahili word for thirst, is a diverse narrative signifying the critical age of drought in Africa, and the significance of preserving water. Inspired by the ancient African rain dance, ‘Kiu’ is a plea for rainfall. This musical is written and directed by both University of Pretoria and Tshwane University of Technology’s part-time Drama Lecturer, Mduduzi Vincent Nhlapo.

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‘Kiu’ is a poignant and unbridled quest for redemption to quench the thirst that seem to be destabilizing humanity. This thirst is highlighted as humanity’s great desire leading to dystopia and civil unrest. ‘Kiu’ is a profound and moving dance experience. Raw, sensitive, intense, hostile, sensuous, meditative and soul-searching. Performed to hauntingly beautiful live Afrocentric music.

Nhlapo is a playwright, performer and choreographer who is known for his robust, controversial, provocative and cutting edge political content and resistance theatre works such as ‘Who stole the Etoll’, ‘The absent figure’, ‘Revolution by the dead’, ‘Rocks and Roses’. He has completed his Honours Degree in Drama with University of Pretoria. He has featured in numerous professional productions, ‘Makwekwere’, ‘Pentaglies’ by Pieter Brand, ‘Frontlines’ by Prof Marie-Heleen Coetzee, ‘As Night Falls’, ‘Chasing’ by Nicola Haskins (2014), ‘Walking Tall’ by Craig Morris, ‘Greg-Melville Smith’, ‘Cul-de-sac’ by Fana Tshabalala (2015), ‘Richard Loring’s African Footprint (2015)’. He is the Grahamstown’s Golden Ovation award winner in the production ‘Anatomy of Weather’ (2011) by Bailey Snyman and Nicola Haskins that performed in Amsterdam Fringe and was rated the highlight of the festival.

Last year 2016, South Africa suffered the worst rainless year in history since rainfall records began in 1904 culminating in the lowest water levels in our dams and river flows. This was due to an El Nino phenomenon, which is described as an abnormal weather pattern caused by the warming of the Pacific Ocean near the equator, off the coast of South America. Though we have recovered, education is needed to respect water usage and preservation.

Kiu is set to premier on 19 May for a week run ending on 28 May in the intimate Momentum Theatre.


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