Chilahaebolae: African folklore meets Scamtho @PACOFS from 22 – 24 February

CHILAHAEBOALAE is an action-packed musical satirefashioned from the wealth of African fable. Phokobje, Hunguhwe or Mpungushe is a trickster figure we recognise from folklore. In Chilahaebolae, re vaya le di saambenche whose stories are well known in Southern Africa and beyond; Phiri, the parasitic companion and Mpja, the docile figure. Drawing scenes with the language of anticipatory dance drama, the play tells the story of PHOKOBJE, PHIRI and MPJA. They face the harsh realities of a world interrupted by MOTHO. Water reserves are dry, and food is scarce ko Nageng. The trio band together to scrape for dipapa le mavati.
Temperamental journeys toss them into Chilahaebolae, a place

The multi – lingual play is written and directed by Kgafela oa Magogodi with the support of a formidable team – Sinenhlanhla Zwane (Assistant Director & Production Designer), Sibusiso Mkhize (Musical Director and lead actor playing Mpja), Sinenhlanhla Mgeyi (choreography) and a dynamic cast lead by Onthiretse Manyetsa playing the role of Phokobje, Tebogo Machaba in the role of
Motho and Kefentse Mokoena in the role of Phiri. Musical accompaniment includes a live band of seasoned musicians including Sebone Rangata, Luyolo Poni, Buhle
Satsha. and Tumelo Morele. The ethos of Chilahaebolae is to preserve and promote African aesthetic traditions and story-telling idioms. Chilahaebolae interlinks environmentalism,
folklore and African language to help us understand contemporary challenges. Water scarcity is a
running theme throughout the play. Through metaphor, humour and music, the importance of environmental preservation is emphasized. Animal proxies allow us to tap into age – old fables and to enthral audiences of different ages.

The play has also been staged outdoors, recreating the fireside storytelling practices of our forebears. Sand is used to recreate natural circles and fire smoulders in mbawula made from upcycled objects. The preservation of the environment is woven through the production. This aesthetic will be preserved, bringing a thezi (fireside storytelling) setting to PACOFS.