What does one do when they are persecuted by thugs, shunned by their neighbors and ridiculed by their colleagues? They seek the intervention of a traditional doctor, with the intention of obtaining muti to make them stronger, respectable and feared members of the community. That is exactly what TamaBrown did.
You see, TamaBrown and his friend Tamajasana were loafers. They were drunkard old men who had a liking for marijuana and traditional beer. The two are the main characters in BonFella Records’ latest production, Halala TamaBrown which is directed and produced by Pelontle Mpatane.
The Ikalanga comedy play kicks off with TamaBrown and Tamajasana smoking marijuana in the bush. They are caught by a policeman who then relieves them off the marijuana and lets them go, only to smoke the marijuana himself. Then the two village bums set off two to town, where TamaBrown, who seems to be the trickier of the two, claims to be the boy around town.
While claiming that the Spar retailer is actually a hospital, he goes on to buy a bottle of tomato sauce out of ignorance, thinking that it is a bottle of juice. After indulging, the two are hit by a bout of diarrhea on their way back to the home village.
But the two’s biggest problems lies in the fact that they are not respected by community members, and that they are terrorized by two thugs who lie in wait for them and relieve them of their tandabala when they return home from their usual drinking holes.
At one point Tamajasana is attacked by the two thugs, who then beat him up and reprimand him for not having enough money in his pocket, as at that time he only had P2. But the old man, who seems unable to keep his mouth shut, gets himself in trouble when he blurts out that the rest of the money is in his socks. Of course the thugs come back, beat him up some more and relieve him of his money.
After repeatedly being robbed by the same thugs, TamaBrown also comes up with a plan to cheat them. He decides to hide the money in the middle of a loaf of bread. But, on that fateful day, the thieves do not want the old man’s money, and are only looking for his food. They thus take away his loaf of bread, with the old man’s money in between.
Tired of the incessant attacks TamaBrown decides that he wants to seek the assistance of a witchdoctor. But his friend Tamajasana tells him of how he also went to a traditional doctor to seek strength and ended up losing his wife and kids.
Tamajasana was also tired of the terror that he was being subjected to by the thugs; he was also tired of the fact that the community disrespected him. So he went to seek the help of a traditional healer.
Renowned poet, actor, singer and traditional dancer Moutlwatsi Ramokgwebana puts up a sterling performance as Tskatsakaoka, the traditional healer. He gives Tamajasana a very strong portion, which he tells him, will earn him respect and keep everyone else away from him.
True to Tsatsaoka’s word, the portion works wonders. Thugs who had previously tormented Tamajasana run away in terror when they see him. But when he gets home and his wife and kids also run away from him in terror. Tsatsaoka must have given him a stronger portion than he had asked for. In the end Tamajasana decides to go back to the traditional doctor to reverse the spell that was cast on him. But, alas, Tsatsaoka also runs away on seeing Tamajasana!!
Halala TamaBrown is an Ikalanga comedy that was written, directed and produced by veteran actor Pelontle Mpatane, who also plays the part of Tamajasana. Batumi Ngube plays TamaBrown, while Tabona, Chase and Cisco provide the soundtrack. The play was produced at Bon Fella studios in Monarch, Francistown.
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