When Coasts Meet (poster image)
Poetic and poignant, Khwezi Becker’s words embrace us from the start.
German is the language we hear. And now isiZulu. Then English too. Khwezi deftly entwines these three languages and playing with the gruff guttrals and clicks and lyricism… she makes music. Within her, the languages trace her parentage, and it is the enfolding of her identity that When Coasts Meet depicts.
“They ask me where my umbilical cord is buried…” Where are her roots? Are we rooted where we are born? What about one’s family tree – how deep are those roots within us? Khwezi’s poetry subtly digs at these questions and it unearths emotional connections to what makes a home.
Khwezi uses her voice like an instrument, twisting sounds and manipulating rhythms to give the words weight and life. She is a poet after all. And blending together her style of spoken word, with music and soft movement, Khwezi and director and co-writer Nomcebisi Moyikwa stitch together distilled fragments, “of a life I used to belong to”. Parts of a life felt splintered between. Between cultures, between races, between continents.
Teased for looking like nobody, for not resembling her black mother or white father – for being mixed-race – she learnt from young to make herself invisible, “to fit myself into small spaces”. It’s a sad moment yet the vocal boldness with which she shares this story reveals Khwezi’s defiance of this narrative, and a reclaiming of her story, her ‘self’.
Khwezi is a fresh 22 and a slight figure on an almost bare stage. Yet her enormous presence exudes an old soul’s understanding… of loss, of heartache, of forgiveness, of the pains of feeling displaced – in spirit and place.
The work is gentle but charged with authentic vulnerability as it ruminates on lineage, heritage, and identity in a closely personal way.
When Coasts Meet has one last performance today, 2 July at 20.30. Click here for details and bookings.
Written and performed by Khwezi Becker
Directed and co-written by Nomcebisi Moyikwa