WRITTEN, DESIGNED AND DIRECTED BY BRETT BAILEY
“iMumbo Jumbo has the seductiveness of the sensual, simple truth. It’s a rich reminder of volatile forces that cannot be reasoned away… an intoxicating whiff of the pointedly irrational.”
– THE SUNDAY INDEPENDENT
“Here is an astonishing watershed work that grabs our fundamental cultural differences by the throat, beginning the vital process of exporting images and ideas to tell the First World not only what we think of ourselves but of it as well.”
– THE SUNDAY INDEPENDENT
“A startling work, heralding nothing less than a new and thoroughly appropriate form of theatre for this country… In the way of the finest cultural inspirations and articulations, iMumbo Jumbo forcefully reminds us of the richness and versatility of reality.”
– THE STAR
iMUMBO JUMBO dramatizes the journey of a rural South African spiritual leader into the Wonderland of 20th Century Britain. The true, intrepid, sacred and quixotic 1996 quest of Chief Nicholas Tilana Gcaleka (sangoma, priest, liquor salesman, guru) to retrieve the head of his ancestor, King Hintsa kaPhalo – Paramount Chief of the amaXhosa nation, killed by a Colonial posse in 1836 – and thereby to restore peace to South Africa.
Escorted from Heathrow Airport by Sky TV Chief Gcaleka travels to Scotland where he eventually unearths a skull in Inverness. The arrival of the skull in the amaXhosa homeland stirs up a hornets’ nest of tribal politics.
iMUMBO JUMBO takes the form of a wacky, musical African pantomime enclosed within a ceremony held by Chief Gcaleka to bring peace to the country.
Its a moving modern hero myth dealing with many topical issues: a African spiritual perspective on the causes of violence in South Africa, a demand from the heart of Africa for recompense for the social and cultural destruction caused by colonialism, a look at the tensions between traditional and contemporary values and modes of thinking within our country, a plea for a more spiritual orientation within our national psyche.
Chief Gcaleka Vukile Handula
Nicholas Gcaleka Abey Xakwe
Hurricane Spirit Lefa Letsika
Reverend Nzulwana Thembani Luzipho
Chorus Noxolo Donyeli, Mhimhi Mabone, Zoleka Helesi, Lumka Mafu, Andile Bonde, Terence Nojila, Bongani Magatyana, Xola Mda, Mxolisi Bosvark,Nomvula Nqingana, Nothemba Nongauza, Ntombe Thongo, Ntshimane Letswalo, Phumla Mrubata, Sibongile Mfunda, Siyanda Bewula, Thembani Luzipho & Tiny Ngaleka