South Africa, once a celebrated democracy that came into being in 1994 with a government
of national unity led by Nelson Mandela, is now in a different world. The rainbow
is fading into a monochrome political horizon. The United Nations has lifted an embargo
against the Tswane Regime. A senior cabinet minister, Dr M Z Nkosi, returns from
a sanctions-breaking visit to Beijing with his youngest daughter Karabo, who was
in self-imposed exile in China. Nkosi comes home with a new wife, much to the disapproval
of his eldest daughter, Sibongile, and to the delight of her younger sister Nomsa.
Sibongile is forced to take control of the family after her father’s sudden death.
Rumours of an assassination threaten to overtake the truth of his heart attack. The
family are sidelined by the government and wait alone on their estate, Ubuntu. The
fabric of their society is unravelling faster than they could have ever dreamed.
Afrophobia rules the land. Violence and fear is in the air. Electricity and water
are too scarce to share with just anyone. The security cluster, intrigue and corruption
confuse them even more.
All they have left are images of their country at its best: television images of
its beauty, old news clips of Nelson Mandela’s embracing smile … The Nkosi family
are forced to shed their prejudices and fantasies and confront the reality of their
situation. Nostalgia for a past struggle is no match for the chilling expectations
of the struggle ahead.
Pieter-Dirk Uys says about the play: ‘In 1975 I wrote a story about an Afrikaans
family in their beautiful Cape Dutch home, secure in their political and social status,
and yet trapped behind high walls and state-of-the-art security for their safety.
It made shocking sense in the play God’s Forgotten. Now forty years later, the story
has reinvented itself to reflect a new reality, also set in the not so distant future.’
Is it a white comedy or a black tragedy? Whose side will you find yourself on?