Just for you this festive season

2011-12-14 00:00

A MUTHI man, a woman selling fruit on a table made from crates, a young man collecting paper and cardboard to sell. It’s a scene you’ll find in every city in South Africa, and it forms the backdrop to the musical Just For You.

Writer Thami Sikhosana, has penned an evocative, funny and deeply moving portrait of a group of people who scratch a living on the streets. But what you see is not the whole story.

The young man collecting papers is not simply a street kid. Rather Little Bit has been left to fend for himself after his parents left him as an infant with his grandmother, only for her to be killed by members of her community amid accusations of witchcraft. Her crime — owning a black cat that was good at catching rats.

Another character on the street is compulsive gambler Pick Six, who believes that Lady Luck will smile on him. But he too is more than he seems and reveals the terror of violence on the mines, which claimed the lives of two of his friends, and of a love lost because he couldn’t pay the lobola the father of his chosen woman demanded.

Then there’s the muthi man, Shake Shake, who masks his own pain behind a cheery smile and the motherly Ma Snowy, who takes all these souls under her protective wing.

S’busiso Shozi, Sandile Menze, Ndumiso Dlamini, Boy Ngema, Samukelisiwe Hlophe and Sikhosana himself play the various characters in the play, and sing beautiful songs to the backing of Mduduzi Mahlobo on guitar, Elisa Sdumo Ngidi on bass guitar, Sthembiso Ntuli on the saxophone, Lucky Thango on drums, Eric Duma on the trumpet and Lindelani Mathonsi on the keyboard.

With its theme of hope and redemption, Just For You is perfect theatre for the festive season. You’ll leave the Loft feeling uplifted and next time you see a street seller, you might just wonder what stories he or she has to tell.

 

• Just For You can be seen at 7 pm tonight and tomorrow night and 6 pm on Sunday. Tickets at R70 at Computicket or The Playhouse box office at 031 369 9540 (office hours). • arts@witness.co.za

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