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'One Night with Modjadji' explores issues of absent fathers and healing through comedy

The cast of ’One Night with Modjadji’. Picture: Supplied

The cast of ’One Night with Modjadji’. Picture: Supplied

Published May 20, 2021


Kwasha! Theatre Company, a collaboration between the Market Theatre Laboratory and the Windybrow Arts Centre is presenting a brand new show titled “One Night with Modjadji”.

Directed by Mpho Malesa and starring Kgothatso Makwala, Mnqobi Molefe and Khethukuthula Jele, mentored by award-winning director Jade Bowers, “One Night With Modjadji” follows the story of a struggling comedienne who has lost her funny bone while trying to deal with life.

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Modjadji, who is on a quest to reclaim her power back and to heal herself through comedy and humour, meets hurdles and unexpected circumstances that keep breaking her spirit.

Will, she ever get her mojo back?

We caught up with Malesa to provide us with an insight into this unique, hard-hitting, yet humorous production.

Expanding on the play, Malesa says: “One night with Modjadji is a play about a comedian who has a toxic relationship with comedy.

“She tried so hard to conceal her feelings by burying her demons while putting on a façade for the world.

“One night on this particular show, she was forced to face her true self and confront her issues physically and internally.”

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He also explains that the show does not draw any inspiration from Queen Modjadji of the Balobedu clan.

Malesa says the play explores burning issues of past traumas, absent fathers, corruption, mob justice and the challenges of being an artist.

“The show will resonate with many young people. It’s relatable. It’s funny. It’s inspirational. It’s relevant,” says the young director.

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He says: “And the message I’d like my audience to take is that black fathers must stay. Be present. And be accountable and responsible. And that trauma is a real problem, to deal with decisively.

“And that parents must talk to their children. About anything and everything. Ask them questions. Children are suffering they don’t even know. The biggest message is that being different makes a difference. Be willing to learn and unlearn.”

Using new approaches and relevant content, this group of young creatives say they are ready to welcome new theatregoers, with a focus on Pan-African youths who may not ordinarily find themselves inside the theatre.

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“We are trying out a wide range of aspects of doing theatre in a dynamic way. With this show specifically, we’re looking at bringing a comedy show mixed with dramatic elements which is something that has never been seen before.

“I realised that a lot of people go watch comedy shows but, rarely do they attend the theatre. And it’s people that are ordinary so that’s the people we want to bring in and have them experience theatre.”

Don’t miss “One Night with Modjadji” from Wednesday, May 26 till Sunday, May 30.

Tickets are available at Webtickets R100 and R50 for students.

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