THE Galeshewe Theatre Organisation (Gato) has taken another play, Clues on the Sand, to the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown that started on Thursday (30/06). Gato previously performed three of its plays, Goon, Big Hole, and Emsini at the internationally-renowned festival.Goon has since won an encore award while Emsini won best ovation and merit for excellence award in 2014.The team performed a final run of their play to a packed audience at the Mayibye Centre, Galeshewe, on Thursday (30/06). Moagi Modise, who is the writer and director of the play, expects this play to be a good comebeck after he took a break to concentrate on working on the now award-winning Setswana play, Lepatata which opened at the Market Theatre in 2015.The play was the first fully Setswana work performed at the Market Theatre. “I am returning after a one year break and we (Gato) are concentrating on local talent with a critially-accepted and acclaimed piece,” said Modise proudly. “We used first-time actors for a professionally-seasoned play.” Clues on the Sand is a play about the Bushmen or San who travelled from Namibia, Botswana and ended up in South Africa. The production is based on the way of life of the San community, their religion and beliefs. The Bushmen are the oldest inhabitants of Southern Africa, where they have lived for at least 20 000 years. Their home is the vast expanse of the Kalahari Desert. They are the remnants of Africa’s oldest cultural group, genetically the closest surviving people to the original homo sapiens core from which the Negroid people of Africa emerged. The play is a poetry-dance piece and through the storytelling by Oom Andries and Ouma Sannam, relates how the San were treated by both the black and white communities. The play or production talks about the death of a Bushmen, the significance of a tree in the Bushmen’s community, their rituals and type of dances used in different situations, for example the rain dance and their spiritual cleansing dance. The production revolves around a specific tree called “die kapteinboom” Captain tree). “Kapteinboom” is where different members of the San community would meet for prayer sessions or where different hunter gatherers would meet during their hunting season for water and directions.This tree witessed the birth of different San generations. Hence a tree is used on stage with the actors and dancers having umbilical cords connected to the tree, representing the different clans. The red dunes or sand of the Kalahari are the archives of the footprints, tears and blood shed by the San, hence the title, Clues on the Sand. The cast includes Sello Motloung, who is the main character, and Madge Kola from Kimberley.Musicians are Gauteng-based Ntsako Makhanza and Thokozane Nsande (on Mbira and percassionist).The rest of the seven cast members from Kimberley are Tebogo Khumalo, Keaorata Gaokgwathe, Thapelo Tshite, Monnapule Mangasanja, Kediemetse Oliphant, Fatima Lande, Katlego Khu-nou.The play run until Sunday(10/06).