MADIBA the Musical
A Celebration of Nelson Mandela
Revolutionary leader Nelson Mandela – known by his tribe as Madiba – would have turned 100 years-old this month. In celebration of his birthday and his legacy, a compelling new stage show Madiba the Musical - a Celebration of Nelson Mandela is today announced for New Zealand.
Beginning its world tour in France and soon to arrive in Australia, this international production is interwoven with stories of the fight against apartheid and forbidden love in a troubled land. The musical pays tribute to New Zealand and the dramatic part it played in bringing an end to apartheid in South Africa.
Also timed to mark 25 years since the abolition of apartheid in the nation, Madiba the Musical features African dance and vocal traditions set alongside eternal love songs and stirring anthems, in a show that tells of Mandela’s lifework as a lawyer and activist for peace through the story of a young artist, Will.
French writers Alicia Sebrien and Jean-Pierre Hadida say that in creating Madiba The Musical, they wanted to tell the story of Mandela’s pursuit of peace and reconciliation in his homeland.
“There are no languages that are more universal than music and dancing to reconcile nations, cultures, religions and generations,” say the show’s creators.
“We want to remember that Madiba Nelson Mandela was certainly the last providential figure of the 20th century.”
Shortly after Mandela’s death in 2013, his Xhosa clan name Madiba emerged worldwide in condolences. The clan or family name represents a person’s ancestry and is used as a sign of respect and affection.
Mandela, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, spent 27 years in prison for fighting racist white rule, and became South Africa’s first black president in 1994, serving a five-year term.
Director of the current French production, Pierre-Yves Duchesne, says he has incorporated modern stage technology in Madiba The Musical, with the animated sketchbook images of the young artist character projected onto the stage screen backdrop.
“Nelson Mandela’s vision of the world was truly turned towards the future, and that is why the stage direction must look towards modernity,” says Duchesne.
French reviews have praised the production’s staging, and describe Madiba The Musical as “a powerful and generous work”, “the essence of a fight for humanity” and “a show that touches our hearts”.