WRITTEN, DESIGNED & DIRECTED BY BRETT BAILEY
CHOREOGRAPHY: TONGESAYI GUMPO
DRAMATURGE: SASKIA NOORDHOEK-HEGT
MUSICAL DIRECTOR: PHILLIP NANGLE
“…thrilling…another triumph…spectacular in its spiritual intensity.”
– SUNDAY INDEPENDENT
“…brilliantly created and magical ritual theatre.”
– THE ARGUS
“It is Brett Bailey then who is engineering a new route for barrier-breaking sensational dramas of interest to a broad audience… THE PROPHET definitely stuck out as possibly the most original work on show this year.”
– MAIL & GUARDIAN
A ritualistic account of a desperate and bizarre event in the history of South Africa: the Xhosa Cattle Killings.
In 1856, while the amaXhosa nation was fraying under colonial incursions, an epidemic swept through their cattle herds, decimating the core of their economic, social and spiritual systems. A young Xhosa girl, Nonqgawuse, professed that ancestral spirits had communicated to her that the land and livestock were contaminated by witchcraft, and that the nation should destroy all its herds and crops and prepare for a day of regeneration. On this day the dead would rise to live with the living, the land would be purified and all settlers would be swept into the sea. Nonqgawuse’s prophesies caught the imagination of her people with horrifying consequences.
THE PROPHET was staged in the round in an old power station in Grahamstown. It included the 15-odd full-time performers of THIRD WORLD BUNFIGHT, and several children and elderly women singers from Rini.
Nonqgawuse Abey Xakwe
Priestess Ndumi Zweni
Priest Luyanda Butana
The Juju Noxolo Donyeli, Thulani Mene, Silulami Lwana, Boniwe Tyota, Rhea Cakwebe, Camagwini Pali, Andile Bonde and Ladies Tyala
The Dead Vuyani Hoboshe, Anthony Yafele, Xola Mda, Tongesayi Gumpo and Sonwabo nguMakhubalo
Percussionist Sisonke Yafele