Loukman loves the legacy of District Six

2016-06-10 12:48
Loukman Adams, left, as “Salie Gramophone” the musical coach in the hilarious scene of a typical training session of Malay choir before the annual competition.

Loukman Adams, left, as “Salie Gramophone” the musical coach in the hilarious scene of a typical training session of Malay choir before the annual competition.

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Watching District Six Kanala, one of the hottest hits on the theatre scene at the moment, it’s easy to feel that the partnership of the late Taliep Petersen and David Kramer has been a university of sorts.

The partnership started in 1986 and some of those “laaities” who started in those productions have grown into seasoned professionals inspiring the next generation for the stage.
One of those youngsters who started out in those first productions is Woodstock’s singer/actor Loukman Adams and watching him in action in this new production it’s easy to see why he is now an inspiration to a new generation on the entertainment scene.
From District Six - The Musical, Poison, Kat and the Kings and so many more leading up to what could be seen as a “senior” role in the new production by David Kramer, and maybe he is now the mentor to some of this talented cast of young entertainers.

“In a way that is probably what David (Kramer) was looking at when casting this production and getting Alistair Izobell to direct the musical side of things as well,” he says.
“Growing up in this type of production we know the reference point of what is needed. This cast is mainly in their twenties, they don’t know about the legacy of District Six, the legacy of the first productions and that is where we can guide them.
“We were lucky to hear the real stories from people like Salie Daniels, Al Hendricks and Cyril Valentine who lived the stories that we were telling and they made it come alive for us.
“With this production I am glad that I can be part of guiding the “youngsters” to make that story come alive and maintain the legacy of District Six.”

Loukman adds that he does not see his part in the production as a “senior” role.
“No man, I’m still too young to a be a senior,” he laughs.
“Part of the lessons I learnt during those early years was humility. We’re all part of the same cast doing our best to put on the best show.
“When I started out I was treated with the same respect as any member of the cast and it still stands me in good stead today. I try to teach these young entertainers what I was taught and hope that they learn from it.”

An integral part of being in this production is acknowledging the joy that the production is bringing to the many people who lived in the area and introducing a new generation to the injustice of forced removals.
“Every night we can feel the audience enjoying every memory,” he says.
“It’s not just the people from District Six, it’s all those areas that were affected. Newlands, Harfield, Diep River, Claremont, these were communities that, like District Six, had it traditions of music that kept people together.

“Every night you feel how you touch people as they experience the music, the photos and your hear them as they talk during the show.
“They can tell you about family that lived in a certain part of the area and sometimes it brings back that sadness, but the stories of the joys in that period are still very important.
“The minstrels, marching bands and musicians were across the peninsula and in many ways still continues but it is important for the younger generation to understand where it all comes from.”

District Six – Kanala is at the Fugard Theatre, Caledon Street, Cape Town until Sunday 3 July. Bookings and infor from 021 461 4554 or reserve your seat via Computicket.com.

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