Mother to Mother

Sindiwe Magona

Assembly George Square

From 02 August 2012 to 27 August 2012

Rating: ***

Review by Philip Fisher

19 years ago, as the fight against Apartheid was really hotting up, a mad mob in the township of Guguletu, a satellite of Cape Town, committed a collective murder. The victim was Amy Biehl, an American student about to return home at the end of her Fulbright Scholarship.

Novelist Sindiwe Magona has reimagined the lead-up to this event through the eyes of Mandisa the mother of her murderer, played in this monologue by Thembi Mtshall-Jones.

Accompanied by a slideshow and soundscape, Mandisa takes us back to a time and place that engendered murder, as a protest against a racist regime represented on screen through the words of their leader, Hendrik Verwoerdt. 

The story-telling is simple and effective, as one woman attempts to explain and apologise for irreparable actions to another, the victim’s mother so far away and governed by a completely different political system.

As well as exploring the tragedies of two mothers, this production enables viewers to get some kind of an understanding of the deprivations suffered by township dwellers for decades.