Slums are rapidly becoming the defining landscape of the twenty-first century, both in the developed as well as the developing world. One out of every three city dwellers worldwide nearly a billion people lives in a slum. Performance artist Mduduzi Nyembe presents a memory of a wounded woman, a dream for an absent father, and a dance in a street market for survival. They are ritual stories of the heartache of the slums substance abuse, violence, gender inequalities, chronic unemployment, families incapacity to provide for and protect their children. Each of Nyembe’s characters, taken from his daily interactions in the township, is left, in the words of poet Bandile Gumbi, “a constant wanderer / always at the beginning of complete circles”, trapped in the existential cycle of poverty.
For more on Bandile Gumbi, see her page on the Creative Africa Network.