Thursday, March 4, 2021

Notions of home and identity interrogated in play at Maitisong Festival

One of the must-see performances during this year’s Maitisong Festival is ‘Tseleng: The Road Less Travelled Home’, which opens on April 25 at the Maitisong Hall.

Written and originally performed as a one-woman show by Mbali Kgosidintsi, ‘Tseleng’ takes the audience to different cities of Gaborone, London, Pretoria, Cape Town, and Johannesburg to tell the stories of four distinct characters, who have one thing in common: their nomadic life as each attempts to deal with their own baggage.

In this play, Kgosidintsi interrogates themes of identity, language, notions of home, social positioning, and personal ambition.

These characters are all based on Kgosidintsi’s personal narrative. The memories of her childhood are filled with images of packing and unpacking bags.

She grew up travelling from city to city and, as a young actress, she travelled to perform in some the world’s major cities.

It is a story that speaks to many in today’s world because issues of identity and notions of home are universal themes that are particularly pertinent in the contemporary world, where migration and social positioning are commonplace.

Having been nominated in South Africa for the Standard Bank Ovation Award in 2010, and selected in 2012 for the Women Playwrights’ International Conference in Stockholm, ‘Tseleng’ will be performed in Botswana for the first time ÔÇô and with a new cast. Kgosidintsi, who is directing the show, has decided to cast two of Botswana’s leading actresses ÔÇô the Generations soapie star Lerato Motshwarakgole, and Mpho Kgosana, an award winning actress.

Both Motshwarakgole and Kgosana recently came back from other shows in South Africa, and Kgosidintsi says she is “honoured that they have set time aside for this project”.

“When I watch them [during rehearsals] I am proud of what they have achieved and how much they are giving to the show,” she says. “I want this play to showcase the best of all of us, and that comes with a lot of passion and hard work.”

‘Tseleng’ will be performed at Maitisong Hall on April 25, and on April 28 ÔÇô May 1.

The cast: Lerato Motshwarakgole, Mpho Kgosana as well as Mavis and Lidia Ramosweu.
Live music: Perfect Pitch
Director and writer: Mbali Kgosidintsi
Art director: Moratiwa Molema
Production manager: Molebedi Sorinyane

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