A theatrical gem from Zimbabwe

2011-09-19 00:00

ZIMBABWEAN refugee Jonathan Khumbulani Nkala shares an intimate, funny, shocking and deeply poignant story with theatregoers in his autobiographical story Cockroach.

Hailing from the small town of Kwekwe “in the USZ — the unstable state of Zimbabwe”, his earliest desire was to follow in the footsteps of the local milkman who was lucky enough to ride a three-wheel bike and always got what he wanted.

The milkman was, however, relegated to the minor leagues of hero worship when his dad was promoted to messenger and got his own bicycle. At the age of 12 he learns to ride this precious possession, but within months his world falls apart. His father dies, his uncle kicks Jonathan, his brother and mother out 0f their home and — worst of all — takes the bike.

It is the first of many lessons this deeply Christian man has to learn about life. The next is when he, an Ndebele man, falls in love with Faith, a young Shona girl. It’s a love story which nearly ends in tragedy for both teenagers.

The final lesson is learned when Jonathan and his best friend, Jacob, decide to risk death by jumping the border into South Africa. After walking hundreds of kilometres they have to cross a crocodile-infested Limpopo River. Jacob doesn’t make it, but hard work and a resilient spirit help Jonathan to triumph over adversity.

Cockroach is by turns witty, funny, heart-rending and poignant. A little theatrical gem.


Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.