Musical comedy to mark ANC centennial

2011-11-11 14:29
Johannesburg - A musical comedy inspired by the 100-year history of the ruling African National Congress will mark the party's centennial next year, the Market Theatre said on Friday.

Number 43 by award-winning playwright Mbongeni Ngema, to open in October 2012 at the famed Johannesburg theatre, is named after an ANC safe house in neighbouring Swaziland where exiled fighters, including President Jacob Zuma, spent time.

"This story is a fitting centrepiece for the celebration of 100 years of South Africa's struggle and the ANC's existence," Ngema told the Sowetan newspaper.

"This is an important part of history that must be captured for legacy reasons, so that young people remember where we come from."


Ngema created one of South Africa's most famous musicals, Sarafina, which went on to international productions and later became a movie starring Whoopi Goldberg and the late Miriam Makeba.

He was also embroiled in a scandal over the sequel, Sarafina 2, a government-funded anti-AIDS play that was scrapped after it was revealed that it was costing R14.2m to stage after a series of flawed tenders.

Price tag

Ngema told the Sowetan that he did not yet have a budget for the new play.

"We are still busy finalising the budget. But I can say at this stage that it will cost a few million rands to do this musical successfully. I can also confirm that I have been assigned by the ANC to do the musical," he said.

The ANC says it is spending more than R100m on its celebrations, but newspaper reports have put the price tag at closer to R400m.


  • dragula.dirt - 2011-11-11 14:48

    Oh please tell me Julius has the lead.

  • Mary - 2011-11-11 14:56

    And Sarafina 2 taught them nothing?

  • Themba - 2011-11-11 15:02

    If we were to take a break and think about where we come from we wwould realise that we have achieved a lot as a nation. We are in a transition period and things are not perfect but are much better (in general) than during the days of legislated apartheid . We should be working towards perfection as a nation. ANC deserves to celebrate - no doubt about that.

      dragula.dirt - 2011-11-11 15:20

      Wait ... how are we going to tell the difference between this musical comedy and a normal ANC press conference ?!?

      fishycraig - 2011-11-11 15:22

      We were in a transition period and yes, the first few years were good. But now? Personally, even as a white man, their shenanigans don't affect me too much (well...). But their own people? The people who voted them in? I feel sorry for them cause they are being shortchanged.

  • Jeff - 2011-11-11 15:04

    The anc is nothing but a dark comedy.

      Deon - 2011-11-11 15:29

      Or perhaps a Tragedy?

  • Felix - 2011-11-11 15:05

    Although remembering the past is important to avoid repeating mistakes, you have to worry about the future some time. I hope they are spending most of that 'hard earned money' on local companies.

  • Had - 2011-11-11 15:21

    The cast should be made up of the whole Cabinet. They also have a lot of material to use from the last 17 years.

  • Derk - 2011-11-11 15:30

    is it called Dumb and Dumber?

  • Dave - 2011-11-11 15:44

    Surely there cannot be a bigger comedy show than the what the ANC is already????????? ANC - Another Noddy Comedy

  • Shirley - 2011-11-11 16:06

    Some of the cast list have been released: J.Z. on vocals,Winnie-who will be doing a very seductive pole dance,Juju is the clown,Mbalula is playing the clergy,Gwede is apparently doing a colonel saunders rendition and there is a special appearance by Beki Cele as Noddy.Contracts have not been signed yet-awaiting latest tender releases.

  • Wesley - 2011-11-11 17:16

    Wasn't a circus that were planned. (It is still in anycase)

  • Lee - 2011-11-12 12:14

    ANC - Africa's Notorious Comedians or Africa's National Comedians

      Lee - 2011-11-12 12:16

      Or even better; Africa's Notorious Criminals

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