The new Sarafina has been found. A young lady, Noxolo Dlamini, was discovered and chosen by Dr Mbongeni Ngema and his company Committed Artists.
She will be the one to fill the big shoes of the former Sarafina, Leleti Khumalo. All the way from Chiawelo Township in Soweto, the 23-year-old is geared for the mammoth task of starring as Sarafina in the highly-anticipated return of the international multi-award-winning Broadway hit musical Sarafina at the South African State Theatre, Pretoria.
The young Dlamini holds a BA in Dramatic Arts from the University of Pretoria obtained in 2014. Her acting career tracks from her childhood, followed in high school by two years at the National School of the Arts. In her university years she featured in the internationally acclaimed Lion King in London, directed by Julie Taymor, and Fantasy of Light, directed by Lizz Meiring. Her hustle also landed her at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown with Street Lights with Lips, directed by Napo Mashiane, and Bad Boy the Musical, directed by Davel.
Dlamini is humbly excited, but nervous about her lead role. “I am honoured and privileged to work with big names like uBaba Ngema and the experienced cast of Sarafina. It is a nerve-wracking opportunity to follow Mama Leleti Khumalo, to whom I look up to so much,” she explains.
Dr Ngema says, ‘Noxolo was spotted during the Sarafina auditions last year and she exceeded our expectations at Committed Artists. From that day on we knew we had found Sarafina!’
“Sarafina is no doubt the one theatrical piece that remains and will forever be a constant reminder of the pain, the misery and, most importantly, the hope that young people had for the South Africa that we are enjoying today. Furthermore, this is the time to tell our own stories,” Ngema added.
The previous run of Sarafina at the South African State Theatre was in 2004, where it attracted more than 25 000 people with 27 performances. It is now expected to go further. Sarafina will show LIVE at the 1 300-seat Opera Theatre from 28 February to May 20. This will be the longest run of an African musical show in the history of the State Theatre. Tickets can be obtained at Computicket ranging from R120-R180 and R100 for students.