G7: Okwe-Bokhwe: Red wound in the rainbow


Mandla Mbothwe’s directing of  G7: Okwe-Bokhwe opens a deep wound.
That wound returns us to the storms veiled by the rainbow continuously forced down our South African throats under the rhetoric of ‘let bygones be bygones’. But, left unresolved, these bygones do not just fly on into the sunset.
They fester painfully, deep under the skin.
Carlo Daniels, Siyavuya Gqumehlo, Sizwe Libengu, Sivenathi Macibela, Sityilelala Makupula, Luxolo Mboso, Abigail Mei, and Yvonne Msebenzi are clothed in white.
Their performances are incredible.
The murderous Vlakplaas history is recalled to the beats of Kwesta ft. Whale’s Spirit. A kwaito-rap song of two worlds apart. One world, like the skin of an iBokhwe (goat) covers body and soul (umphemfumlo nenyama).
Nostalgic sounds of isicamtho — hybrid South African language — fusion tongues which propel emotion and take you down into the ugly history of apartheid. We are reminded that “Inkululeko ihleli epokothweni” (freedom lies in a pocket) –capitalism is a destructive structural force.
“Izulu liyazongoma — amathambo ayathetha ‘Okwe-Bokhwe’” (Thunder strikes. The bones speak as a goat). Sesotho words remind you that there is God in a womxn’s heart (“Hona le Modimo mo pelong ya basadi”). African feminism reveals itself through the diverse Sesotho-coated tongues of actresses.
African isiNguni songs echo across the Rhodes Box. The story of G7 scatters emotions like seeds — like songbirds exiting the thundering sky sinking into night time — flapping their arms, wings stretching across endless skies — asking for forgiveness.
I sit next to a former Mkhonto we Sizwe figher who is overcome with emotion. Do not miss this show!

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