Isambulo, a South African theatrical Musical Play, was held for a period of three weeks   at the South African State Theater in Pretoria. The musical play focuses mainly on artifacts of cultural importance in a more religious spectrum;

this is shared through wax cylinders of religious hymn made centuries ago.

Christians have been expressing themselves through spiritual hymn throughout history leading to a sense of religious customs being strongly encouraged as harmonious way of life on earth. The main concept was to display the African culture through the form of religion and worship, within our typical Black South African church services.

Isambulo, meaning Revelation in the Bible was created by Zakhele Mabane and written by himself alongside, Sanku Bokaba. It took the cast and the whole production team approximately a month to rehearse and prepare for the musical play. They were on stage from the 1st till the 23rd of December 2017, giving the audience a heartfelt, powerful spiritual vibrant performance throughout the duration of play.

The aim of this production was mainly to convey a moving, powerful and overwhelming one, focusing on restoring people’s faith and believes, giving them hope and guaranteeing a safe and harmonious relationship with the highest force of the universe, God.

It had been demonstrated through various South African households that church attendance increase dramatically after traditional African religious music was introduced into the Evangelical. It was shown that drums, handclapping ratting horns and whistling, has long been a way of worship for Black people.

From a cultural point of view, African people not always feel comfortable in a controlled or solemn church environment where emotions are not being expressed freely. In independent churches, singing is always accompanied by the clapping of hands and a bit of dancing and the whole service is turned into a colorful experience for each individual attending the service and this was being proven through Isambulo.

Photo credit: Morongwa Ramputa