Unkulunkulu the Sovereign One

“Cathartic transformation for your soul” - Cape Times, November 2001

This production is told in traditional Xhosa Intsomi (storytelling) style using Tswana Shamanic drum rhythms, voice and song to explore the healing powers of the elements (Air, Water, Fire and Earth). The piece was originally created to open the World Courts of Women Against War for Peace that took place in Cape Town in March 2001.

The Courts of Women Against War for Peace was an International gathering of 4,500 women from the Global South who spoke testimonies on how they had survived war and torture. Four performers were positioned on 6ft ladders around the audience (each one representing a different direction and Element, i.e. North (Earth), South (Fire), East (Air) and West (Water). The performers wore huge animal head-dresses and long skirts to cover the length of the ladders. The story took the form of a gathering of the animals who had come to seek advice from Unkulunkulu The Sovereign Spirit.

The animals were not happy with the way in which women were being treated in our world. Ukunlunkulu advised these animals, the gatekeepers of the four directions, to draw on the qualities and energies of the elements and directions for assistance and healing.

Created by Andrea Dondolo, Julia Uranium, Faniswa Yisa, Warona Seane, Sara Matchett and Rehane Abrahams. Directed by Sara Matchett. With Andrea Dondolo, Julia Uranium, Faniswa Yisa and Rehane Abrahams.