UK based Zim actress Anna Mudeka launches Miriam Makeba theatre production

Mama Afrika celebrates the life and works of late South African arts icon

By Nkosana Dlamini

United Kingdom based Zimbabwean actress and performer Anna Soko Mudeka has launched a theatre production entitled “Mama Afrika”, which celebrates and immortalises the works of late celebrated South African musician and anti-apartheid icon Dr. Miriam Makeba.

The opening night of the artistic production showcased at the Norwich Playhouse theatre on Saturday and will be followed by multiple showcases in selected parts of the United Kingdom until June this year.

Organisers are also hoping to take the production beyond the UK.

Saturday was a sold-out event also graced by the theatre production’s trustees, sponsors and other stakeholders.

According to its itinerary which details tour dates, the production now moves to Wolverhampton’s Arena Theatre on Thursday 1 February amid signs it is also going to be a sold-out show.

Makeba, who was affectionately known as Mama Afrika, collapsed and died aged 76 during a stage performance in Italy 2008.

Because of her music which had a strong African feel, Makeba became a symbol of African purity and a great influencer in the then apartheid South Africa’s quest for independence.

To this day, Makeba’s global influence is evident as a Zimbabwean is inspired to honour her work through the same art form she excelled in.

Mudeka did not think twice to try and ensure that Makeba’s works were immortalised.

“The Miriam Makeba production is one that has just been sitting with me for a long time, pretty much really since the news came in 2008 of her passing when she was performing in Italy,” Mudeka said in an exclusive interview with Zimstar News.

“I vowed that I would tell her story. I don’t know where that came from.”

Mudeka added, “Miriam Makeba inspired us so much, not just musically but also to have a voice.

“She was a woman who was proud of her heritage, she was unfazed by the celebrities, the bright lights and the lifestyle of the west. She remained humble and true to her culture.

“She did something that we should all aspire to do in our lives which is to be useful, to inspire change, to leave a legacy.

‘She used her music to speak out for the independence of South Africa.

“She stood up for the women of Africa.”                  

“The project has the support of the Makeba Foundation, of the grandson – that means a lot for us to be able to have their support in this project.”

Songs covered by Anna in the show include: Mbube, Pata Pata and Soweto blues.

Title: Mama Afrika: Hope, Determination and Song.

Written by: Tomas Lutuli Brickhill

Directed by: Tonia Daley-Campbell

For more info on Anna Mudeka and the Mama Afrika production, follow Anna on her social platforms @Anna Soko Mudeka.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button