Insight into indentured labourers’ lives

2010-11-09 00:00

THE Coolie Odyssey, Rajesh Gopie’s insightful production about the lives of Indian indentured workers, has been reworked and redirected by Gopie (best known for his one-man show, Out of Bounds) for a short season at the iZulu Theatre at Sibaya Casino from November 12 to 21.

The play, which is being presented as a special event to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of Indians arriving in South Africa, premiered at the National Arts Festival in Grahams­town in 2002, before enjoying a highly successful season at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg.

Focusing on the indentured workers from India who worked on the sugar plantations in Natal between 1860 and 1911, The Coolie Odyssey combines compassion with humour to reveal the role played by Indians and their contribution to South Africa’s rich cultural narrative, as well as ongoing issues of race relations and nation-building.

The plot unfolds as the storyteller — a monkey with memories of previous human incarnations — types up his story on an old typewriter.

His story unveils the life of Ramlall Kihari, an indentured labourer who arrived in Durban in 1864. We follow Ramlall as he searches for identity, belonging and salvation against the backdrop of those pioneering colonial times.

The cast includes Renaldo Abraham Moodley, Nhlakanipho Manqele, Vishendra Singh, Yateen Dayaram, Thiru Naidoo, Avershree Maistry, as well as musicians led by Mumbai sufi singing star, Anuraag Dounidyal.

Booking is through Computicket.

— Arts Editor.

Join the conversation! 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. 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 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.