Text: Culture Reporter
Photograph: Supplied

Makhafula Vilakazi -Joburg Theatre, Space.Com – 3 November 2018. R100.

The poet Makhafula Vilakazi returns to the stage.

Not the sort of infantileperformative rage we observe when restaurant owners insult their staff and chief clientele. Not the fury that fizzles out a few days after the “outrage” exhausts the news cycle.

No.

Settlers.

His resentment for the status quo for blacks is a constant state of mind, a daily preoccupation which has thrust the African back onto the stage after five years since his last solo show.

“Peace Amongst Africans. War against the children and children of Jan Van Riebeeck.”

The subject of his fury is the continued dispossession of Africans in the country of their birth. Writing in The Wretched of The Earth, the chapter,Concerning Violence to be specific, Frantz Fanon writes, “The settler’s town is a strongly-built town, all made of stone and steel. It is a brightly-light town; the streets are covered with asphalt, and the garbage-cans swallow all the leavings, unseen, and unknown and hardly thought about. The settler’s feet are never visible, except perhaps in the sea; but there you’re never close enough to see them. His feet are protected by strong shoes although the streets of his town are clean and even, with no holes or stones. The settler’s town is a well-fed town, an easy going town; its belly is always full of good things. The settler’s town is a town of white people, of foreigners.

The town belonging to the colonized people, or at least the native town, the Negro village, the medina, the reservation is a place of ill fame, peopled by men of evil repute. They are born there, it matters little where or how; they die there, it matters not where, nor how. It is a world without spaciousness; men live there on top of each other, and their huts are built on top of the other. The native town is a hungry town, starved of bread, of meat, of shoes, coal or light. The native town is a crouching village, a town on its knees, a town wallowing in the mire. It is a town of niggers and dirty arabs.”

So in the Republic of SettlerAssassins Fanon’s dichotomy is visibly expressed with the Sandton/ Alexandra post-apartheid reality. As a response, Makhafula Vilakazi has curated an expression of the quotidian blended with the ideological narratives that concern blackness in the settler republic. It is a complex mourning and rebellion that places the onus on blacks to do with their condition and lives as they see fit.

The poet will be in league with M’Afrika, Koketso Poho and M’Afrika, Nhlanhla Ngqaqu from Iphupho L’kaBiko. The works are steeped in the spiritual and the offering will comprise works from his new album scheduled to drop in the first quarter of 2019, as well as works from the seminal debut, I Am Not Going Back To The Township.

“Noma sekunzimaemhlabeni
Sihlukunyezwangamabhunu
Nkosisiph’amandlawokunqoba
Silwenosathane.”

*Tickets can be purchased at Joburg Theatre or at the door for R100.

For further enquiries, contact Kulani Nkuna on kulaninkuna1@gmail.com and 076 616 2845.