Revolutionary comedy Vuka Machel set to usher in a new year of fabulous theatre

Vuka to the Machel returns Ramolao Makhene Theatre at the Market Lab in January 2020, giving more people a chance to catch this storytelling masterpiece.

Vuka Machel is a revolutionary comedy told by two chicken thieves from Kanyamazane, just outside Nelspruit in Mpumalanga. Through the eyes of this infamous pair, the audience is taken on a journey in which Samora Machel wakes from the dead to find his wife married to Mandela and Mozambique suffering. He challenges Mandela to all sorts of fights. The biggest mistake he makes is to agree to a negotiation at the World Trade Centre where Mandela challenges him to a boxing match. Mandela is notorious for winning all his fifty fights through negotiations. Written and directed by Market Lab alumnus Mncedisi Shabangu, and performed by Mncedisi Shabangu and Xolile Gama, the play is a funny and insightful commentary on the lives and philosophies of two of Africa’s most influential leaders. Mncedisi, who is well-known for his role as Khulekani in Rhythm City, and prolific actor Xolile use their unique brand of storytelling and rare style of physical theatre to make this play an exceptional treat.

Originally created in 1998, and the winner of an FNB Vita Award for Best Director in 2003, Vuka Machel was last performed as a one-off presentation as part of the Market Lab’s 30 year celebrations this year, where it received such an enthusiastic response that it was clear that it needed a longer season.

This fantastic comedy is just the beginning of an exciting year of programming at the Market Theatre Laboratory, including the return of its flagship residency programme, and showcase opportunities to provide theatre-makers a platform to present new work. Eclipsed ‘Phifalo Ya Ngwidi’, a powerful play made by Market Lab students with the direction of Sylvaine Strike, about the Life Esidimeni crisis, will return to Johannesburg stages, while the award-winning Hani: the Legacy and The Little Prince gear up for national and international tours.

Production Information for Vuka Machel:

Duration:                                          80 minutes

Age Recommendation                   12 years

Season:                                              15 January – 2 February

Venue:                                               The Ramolao Makhene Theatre

Performance times:                      Tuesday – Saturday @ 20:00 and Sunday @ 15:00

Ticket prices:                                    Tuesday – Sunday R100.00 – R150.00

Student Prices:                                R70.00 – R90.00


To make block bookings, please contact Anthony Ezeoke 011 832 1641ext 203/

083 246 4950, Magret Charova 011 832 1641 ext 326/ 079 656 2340 and Jabulisile Mofolo 011 832 1641 ext 204/ 083 203 0531

For further information, interviews and images, contact:

Thozama Busakwe Inhouse Marketing Assistant

Market Theatre Laboratory 011 838 7498 Ext 302 or 0723246601

Lusanda Zokufa Senior Publicist

011 832 1641 Ext 202 or 0723677867

thozama@marketlab.co.za lusandaz@markettheatre.co.za