iKrele leChiza



Revenge and Restoration

An interdisciplinary and episodic performance.


Mandla Mbothwe’s IKrele leChiza…. [The Sword of the Herb], is the second in a series of performance research projects that is engaged with the reimagining of tragedy in Africa. It is driven by an interest in reimagining the genre of ancient Tragedy through an African lens. In an article from the 1960s entitled The Fourth Stage, Nobel-laureate Wole Soyinka writes: “of all the subjective unease that is aroused by man’s creative insights, that wrench within the human psyche that we vaguely define as ‘tragedy’ is the most insistent voice that bids us return to our own sources” (Myth, Literature and the African World, p. 140).


In this project Mbothwe will explore the Greek epic the Odyssey by Homer in order to discover how it might talk to his own creative work and obsessions, and how his work talks back to the epic. While the epic form, strictly speaking, precedes tragedy historically it can be said to be tragedy’s precursor and it deals with much of the same mythic base as does tragedy. The difference on a superficial level is that while epic is characterized by narration, tragedy is characterized by dramatization. But given the particularities of the African performance tradition, the epic is much more closely linked to traditional forms like the intsomi or the griot tradition of West and Central Africa.)


Conceived and Directed by Mandla Mbothwe

Co Creator: Thando Doni

Musical Director: Babalwa Makwetu

Co-authors and Performers: Indalo Stofile, Thando Doni, Lulamile Bongo Nikani,

Babalwa Makwethu, Nomakrestu Xakathugaga and Sizwe Ginger Lubengu

Filming and Editing: Sanjin Muftic

Sound Master: Elvis Sibeko

Lighting Design: Themba Stewart

Stage Manger: Sityhilelo Makupula

Set Design: Mandla Mbothwe assisted by Themba Stewart and Raezeen Wentworth

Rehearsal Schedule

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These photographs take you on a journey from the very beginning of rehearsals, through to the final filming of the production.

Photo 01 of iKrele leChiza led by Mandla Mbothwe on afternoon of 2020-11-18
Photo 07 of iKrele leChiza led by Mandla Mbothwe on morning of 2020-11-18
Photo 04 of iKrele leChiza led by Mandla Mbothwe on morning of 2020-11-18
Video 04 of iKrele leChiza production filming on afternoon of 2021-02-28
Video 06 of iKrele leChiza production filming on afternoon of 2021-02-27

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These videos provide snapshots into the rehearsal process.

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These audio clips provide a longer durational glimpse into the rehearsal process.

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