By Lærke Kersten
“We are about to tell you about our stories. Please note; we don’t favour the favours. We don’t salute the powerful. And we don’t bow to the privileged. Our naked truth has taught us differently. For being here we hope that all of us can have a brighter future. We do not have answers to all your questions. This is our experience. This is about our lives. Please listen.”
We are in Observatory to experience the theatre play Ubuze Bam (My Nakedness).
Those are the entry words spoken in harmony by the four young men in the play; Bongani, Lazolo, Eric and Ntsika. Ubuze Bam tells the stories of the healing and self-discovery of these four young men who have lived through different prison experiences.
The stories fill the small theatre in the Methodist Church Hall on Wesley St. It is like sky lanterns sent to the sky with wishes written on the side. As Bongani puts it after the play; it is a wish to share the past in order to step into the future. Naked truths spring from the mouth of Bongani, Lazolo, Eric and Ntsika into the reality of the small audience. Wild and violent and beautiful. I am overwhelmed and humble to be in this tiny theatre on a quiet street on an ordinary Wednesday night. There is no possible way for me to explain what we experienced that night. We spoke with the director Thando Doni after the play, which is shared in the video together with footage from the play.
Ubuze Bam is created in collaboration between the Theatre Arts Admin Collective and Young in Prison; two projects that the Kaospilots are working with here in Cape Town. They do amazing work – make sure to check them out.
Young In Prison: http://www.younginprison.org.za
Theatre Arts Admin Collective: http://theatreartsadmincollective.weebly.com
The play will also be shared in Delft on 9 & 10 April, Khayelitsha 16 & 17 April and Kraaifontein 23 & 24 April. Finally it is also shared at the National Arts Festival in Port Elizabeth in June.