A fist is violent. A fist is ‘Amandla’. A fist can protect. Clenched fists – solidarity.
Backs to us, ‘doeks’ on heads – faceless women break their stillness with incrementally larger awakenings. Imbalance. Swaying restlessness. Stirring shudders.
Nomcebisi Moyikwa’s cast perform with intense vulnerability, openness and the rawest emotion. They yell “Yiza! Yima! Mamela!” until their calls degenerate into shrieks and squeals. Of desperation. Of pain. Alternatively pleading and demanding. Sometimes defiant.
The ground beneath them is unstable – it has been for generations. A large white cloth covers the stage… they get stuck, they trip, they tip over. The cloth is gathered up to surround a performer (Palesa Theledi). It drags her elsewhere, dictating where she must be, where she belongs.
Relentlessly the cloth is spread open and gathered back towards itself – opening and closing – the fist tightens and releases… deciding its own purpose. Relentless have been the historical waves of white domain over black bodies; today’s South Africa sees the majority of black women still on the bottom rung, they who raise South Africa’s children – their own and those of their employers…
Moyikwa and Maipelo Gabang perform a duet amidst the unsettling swells of white. It threatens to swallow them, destabilise them, but they manoeuvre with grace and certainty, until the cloth lies still again. Moyikwa’s following solo invokes images of centring, a magnet returning to its balancing point. As she stabilises, she twists and tautens the white cloth, the white ground – the space is claimed.
A fist opens to be a hand that greets, that creates, that claims what it wants, desires, deserves.
Inqindi is intriguingly abstract and requires attentive engagement with the proffering from the cast. If you’re after easy entertainment… this won’t be for you. So come prepared to think. And feel.
– Sarah Roberson
Inqindi is performed by Nomcebisi Moyikwa, Pumelela Nqelenga, Maipelo Gabang, Fezokuhle Mthonti, Ciko Sidzumo, Palesa Theledi, and presented by First Physical Theatre Company.
Click here for production info. Inqindi is on today 04 July @ 18.30 @ PJ’s.