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Intro 03:17
Pinky Africa 04:35
The Children 03:31
Hilbrow Dub 03:57
Vuka Vuka ! 02:26
Mpo's story 02:56
Together 02:35
Streetkids 06:02
Finale 06:14
Ofana Nojesu 02:00


World music / theatre music / spoken word / global

Music made for 'Vuka Vuka !' (Het Waterhuis - 2005),
recorded in Grootvlei, Hilbrow, Soweto (ZA), and Rotterdam (NL).

Michel Banabila, McCoy Mrubata, Pops Mohamed,
Fihli Malatji & Dumisile Mqadi

The harsh and tragic lives of South Africa's streetchildren
are the theme of 'Vuka Vuka!', an open air theatre play
performed in Jo'burg & Soweto, by a travelling theatre company.

Dedicated to K. Sello Duiker.
Text: Kees van Loenen.
Direction and conceptualisation:
Roel Twijnstra, advised by Jerry Pooe.
Video: Geert Mul.


June 9, 2005,
By Tammy O'Reilly.

HUNDREDS of youngsters in Soweto and Doornfontein will get their first glimpse of the performing arts when an international travelling theatre company stops off in Johannesburg as part of its world tour.

The 11-year-old Het Waterhuis youth theatre, based in the Netherlands, has been travelling the world building awareness of social issues through its spirited performances. This tour is no different.

Different venues in Johannesburg will host performances, from 22 June through to 16 July, 2005.

Using actors from local theatre groups, Roel Twijnstra of Het Waterhuis, directed and choreographed Vuka Vuka!, which is isiZulu for "Wake up!".

The show captures the lives of the homeless children who populate South Africa's major cities of Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg. Vuka Vuka! is a fusion of their stories, telling of the harsh realities of street life, their means of survival and their dreams.

Adding a dash of reality to the production, 10 children from the Topsy Foundation in Bryanston, an orphanage and sanctuary for children who are affected by or infected with HIV/Aids, will also appear.

The Het Waterhuis Theatre previously toured South Africa in 2003, when it performed a musical called Freebirds, which focused on HIV/Aids, to capacity crowds.

"Het Waterhuis is a youth theatre but plays and musicals are sometimes performed to adult audiences to make us aware that what we do as parents affects our children," says Wayne Nhlangothi, the play's publicist.

"This play in particular is intended to reach a wider audience as it deals with an issue that is sometimes brought upon by parents."

The travelling theatre brings its own props, shelter and seating for 800 people. The City of Johannesburg is sponsoring the electricity needed for the production.

Choreography ;
Jolanda Spoel.

Costumes and props ;
Judith Abels.

Artistic coordination ;
Javier López Piñón.

Starring ;
Menzi Biyela, Fred van der Hilst, Fihli Malatji, Dumisile Mqadi, Meriam Nkwinika, Jeanett Ratlabjana, Jolanda Spoel and Anne Twijnstra.

Special appearance by ;
13 children and supervisors from Topsy Foundation in Grootvlei.

Production management ;
Andre Goos.

Production assistance
Onica Mashatola.

Technical operation ;
Alex Brok, Willem Scheepstra and Peter Swikker.

Set construction ;
Quirijn Smits.

Drama training children ;
Jolanda Spoel and Anne Twijnstra.

Management and publicity ;
Pim Broere Promotions, Pim Broere, Mpati Mojapelo
and Wayne Nhlangothi

More info =


released June 20, 2005

Michel Banabila (keys, electronics, occarina, vocals),
in cooperation with :
McCoy Mrubata (sax) and
Pops Mohamed (percussion, kora, calimba & flute).
Fihli Malatji, Dumisile Mqadi (vocals) Meriam Nkwinika (voice).
Joshua Samson (hang & shakers on track 2).

Other voices recorded in ;
Grootvlei - (Topsy Foundation), Soweto, the streets of Hillbrow.

This album is a download only.


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Michel Banabila Rotterdam, Netherlands

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