With eight Naledi Awards nominations and newly cast leads, the fallists have yet assembled a triumphant return of the musical “Freedom” at the South African State Theatre- showing from 30 April to 2 June this year.
The world premiere of “Freedom” last year was hailed by audiences as a true dramatization of what exactly occurred during the Fees Must fall campaigns in the years 2015 and 2016. Many students retold their emotional account every time they attended the show. This year the musical makes a return with eight Naledi nominations for awards including Best Musical Production, New Script, Original Score, Choreography (Mduduzi Nhlapo) and Set Design (Wilhelm Disbergen). Former lead actress Simphiwe Ndlovu (as Phindile) will compete in the Best Female Musical lead category. The 2019 Naledi Awards will be held at the Joburg Theatre on 20 May 2019.
‘Freedom’ is written and directed by multi-award-winning playwright and Director and SAST’s Artistic Director Aubrey Sekhabi, who is also nominated for Best Director Naledi Award. The musical features Hip Hop star Siphelele ‘Pdot’ O’ Mnyandu, Kabelo “Bonafide Billi” Togoe (nominated for Best Musical Director), the experienced baritone Otto Maidi, and 2017 Idols top ten finalist Thokozile Ndimande to highlight a few. New cast leads will be announced before the production opens.
In the musical Freedom, a strong cast of 47 members and a thirteen-piece band tells the story of Phindile, a Tshwane University of Technology student and leader of the fees must fall movement. Her life takes a sharp turn after student protests at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. What then started as a students’ plea for free education, gets distorted by xenophobic attacks and various crimes committed by rotten elements claiming to be part of the movement. But Phindile stops at nothing to fight for the freedom of students and her own.
The story examines the violent crime that is rife in our modern-day society. Be it rape, women abuse, racism, xenophobia, corruption, or police brutality, they are testimonies of the cost of freedom in our people. It retells stories of young women like Frances Rasuge, Reeva Steenkamp and Karabo Mokoena, who suffered abuse and perished in the hands of their boyfriends and men in our society.
On the 8th of May, it will be the country’s 2019 general elections. The elections will mark 25 years of democratic dispensation post-1994. Policy uncertainties on the redistribution of land, free education, economic freedom, race and gender inequality, crime and corruption are amongst pertinent issues that set the agenda ushering us to the ballot boxes. Voters will need to do a soul searching for what they will be voting for in the upcoming polls.
Tickets for Freedom are priced from R100-R300, available at Webtickets. The show has a 13 years age restriction. For schools and group bookings, patrons can contact the theatre’s sales office on 012 392 4000 or visit the website, www.statetheatre.co.za.