De-Apart-Hate: Mamela Nyamza

A beautiful review on a interesting piece I got to watch last night.

people are dancing here.

Mamela Nyamza’s recent production entitled De-Apart-Hate (2016) is a moving performance that is steeped in powerful symbolism and follows a deeply authentic journey of embodied defiance and liberation. Performed by Mamela Nyamza and Mihlali Gwatyu, both are smartly dressed in black and white formal attire, occupying the almost empty stage with a visceral sense of presence and commitment to their performance. On the far right-hand side of the stage is a rainbow-painted bench, a potent signifier of the ‘Rainbow Nation’ post-1994 narrative as well as iconic apartheid bench.

deaparthate-nardus-engelbrecht-e1475608227413 Mamela Nyamza and Mihlali Gwatyu in ‘De-Apart-Hate’ at Cape Town Fringe Festival 2016 – Photo: Nardus Engelbrecht

But this brightly-coloured bench betrays its optimistic appearance as Nyamza and Gwatyu take their first seat and we notice that the bench is in fact unstable, dipping from side to side like a see-saw. The performers precariously balance on this wobbly seat and wait. They…

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