Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Review: ?You Strike a Woman, You Strike a Rock

You Strike a Woman; You Strike a Rock, an affirming title of a story that follows the lives of three courageous female township vendors who hawk their wares in a taxi rank in Cape Town. The story is in theme with Sarafina, and tells the stories of blacks during apartheid South Africa. You Strike a Woman pays tribute to the millions of black women who marched to the South African parliament in Pretoria in 1956. They protested against the imposition of pass laws on women.

Like Aldo Brincat in Sarafina, the play?s director, Ndiyapo Machacha, also peppers the South African play with modern ?local? Setswana, bringing the characters closer to home. Young local actresses, Anastacia Molefane, Dineo Office and Tshepang Raletsholo of Project Phakama, gave very commendable performances playing multi-roles.
The play occasionally reflected a moment from both sides, with the actresses talking excitedly at once to invisible characters, and then acting as the invisible characters responding to the characters the actresses had just played.

Though their singing was far from awe-inspiring, their repartee, as the plays characters, which they convincingly channelled, Mambhele, Mampopo and Sdudla, overshadowed their singing. The young ladies sold the older ballsy vendors well, complete with the jeering and fighting.

Here are actresses who deserve to return to the Maitisong stage, (after polishing their singing) to perform You Strike a Woman, at least once more, before a larger crowd.

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The Telegraph September 23

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 23, 2020.