Picture: SANMARI MARAIS
Picture: SANMARI MARAIS

"Tomorrow morning, the men will sing again. Their spears, pangas, inculas and sticks will clatter menacingly. They will recite battle cries from their homelands, and move about in organised columns, raising clouds of dust. But 34 of them will sing for the very last time."

On August 16 2012, 34 people were killed when police opened fire on striking mineworkers at Marikana in North West.

It was one of the most brutal police operations in democratic SA’s history, with many calling it "the ANC’s Sharpeville".

One of SA’s most successful stage productions, Marikana — The Musical, emerged from that pain and horror. Nominated 13 times and scooping six Naledi awards, the show is now on an extended run at the State Theatre in Pretoria.

The 40-strong cast is led by Meshack "Mimi" Mavuso, Aubrey Poo, Emma Mmekwa and Mpho "Mckenzie" Matome, with direction by Aubrey Sekhabi.

The musical goes back to the villages and townships from where many of the miners came.

The musical premiered in 2014 and came out tops at the Naledi Theatre Awards in 2015, winning best musical production, best director (Sekhabi), best female performance in a musical (Mmekwa), best set design (Wilhelm Disbergen), best musical score (Matome, Zakele Mabena and Sekhabi) and best original choreography (Thabo Rapoo).

Marikana — The Musical runs at the State Theatre until August 11.

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