Nomapondo is a dance musical infused with different African cultures including IsiXhosa | San | Yoruba | BaTswana. It explores the life of a Chi Wara, a half-antelope, half-human figure born from the union of the sky goddess and an earth spirit.
There was drought upon the land and clouds that carried rain sailed far and high above. During this time, Majola falls in love with the rainmaker, Nomapondo (The One with Horns). Her eyes were dark and clouded with mysticism. Somewhere, behind the concord of the gemsbok’s body and the woman’s mind, he caught the sweet smell of rain, and knew the drought would be broken.
This is a story about self acceptance, true love and finding a delicate balance in life.
Conceptualised and Choreographed by Bisi Bangiwe
Written & Directed by Mkhululi Mabija
Music by Afrikan Tones & Bisi B
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
South African Born Monwabisi Bangiwe graduated from Tshwane University of Technology in South Africa. He has worked as a dance instructor, singer, actor, dancer and has toured in Africa, Europe, Brazil, Taiwan and the United States. Bangiwe’s first Musical experience was with Tim Plewman & Bill Flyn’s Fangs The Comedy Musical. Following that, he was part of the original South African Production of Disney’s The Lion King. He played the same role in Taipei and Germany (Der Konig Der Lowen).
Bisi is a co founder and director of Amandla Dança Teatro (Multi award winning Afro Musical Theatre Academy). Bangiwe worked with the Youth around South Africa In Arts Projects such as Dare To Dream, Hands On, Galeshewe Theatre Organization, and Field Band Foundation. He was seen dancing at The RAFTO PRIZE Awards in Bergen, Norway, and has danced and choreographed on numerous national and international stages. Bisi was an assistant choreographer for DAC South African Year in China. Bisi performed in Janice Honeyman’s pantomime THE SLEEPING BEAUTY at the Joburg Theatre. His Choreographic works include Clues on the Sand (Moagi Modise), and for Amandla Dança Teatro ZA with Mkhululi Mabija Emathongeni, BahiAfrica, Umangaliso The Miracle, Big Hole, Umthombo and recently Mwana Wa Mvula. Bisi represented Amandla Dança Teatro ZA and Bisi B Creations in Europe in a theatre piece, Promis(s)ed Land. Bisi was a mentor on a reality TV show for SABC 1 Future Leaders. Awards include a Standard Bank Silver Ovation Award (Emathongeni), a Cut Above Standard Bank Ovation Award (Umthombo) and a Choreographer for the U19 Cricket World Cup 2020.
Mkhululi Z Mabija – Director
Mabija graduated from Tshwane University of Technology with a B.A in Musical Theatre Performance (2006) and from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing (2010). As a performer, Mkhululi has performed in numerous plays and musicals including working under the direction of two-time Tony Award director, Peter Brook. At the age of twenty-four, he became the youngest adjunct professor at New York University teaching a course called South African Culture through History, Art and Media. Mkhululi has written operas with composers Paul Castles (The Road Between the Desert and the Ocean and The Call) and Angelique Mouyis (Bessie:The Blue-Eyed Xhosa) that was staged by Cape Town Opera in November 2015 at Artscape Theatre. He has written musicals with composers Michael Thurber and Saheem Ali (Goddess, Malibu and Native), Dewey Fleszar (Let It Rain), Sooyeon Lee (On The Wall), BLK JKS (Mongezi), Bokani Dyer (My Daughter/Son), a dance musical with Monwabisi Bangiwe (Emathongeni) and an African animation musical with Julian Wenn (Five’s Wonderland). Mkhululi was commissioned by Cape Town Opera to adapt Athol Fugard’s novel, Tsotsi for the musical theatre stage. Composer and performer, Zwai Bala has composed the music and Tsotsi was staged at Artscape Theatre in November 2017. Awards include Yip Harburg award for Best Lyricist (2009, 2010), Really Useful Group Award and The Eugene O’Neill Award for Musical Theatre (2013). In 2015, Mkhululi was selected by the Mail and Guardian Newspaper as one of South Africa’s Top 200 Young South Africans. In August 2016, GQ Magazine selected Mkhululi as one of their 20 Game Changers. Awards include a Standard Bank Silver Ovation Award at NAF 18, Golden Shield Heritage Award 2018, Cut Above Standard Bank Ovation Award NAF 2019. ICC cricket World Cup 2020.