Pupils give up holiday to rehearse

OUR HISTORY: Pupils Reuben Mzizi, Lutho Peter and Cleo Naidoo re-enact the iconic Hector Peterson shooting in a scene from 'I am an African'. Picture: JUDY DE VEGA
OUR HISTORY: Pupils Reuben Mzizi, Lutho Peter and Cleo Naidoo re-enact the iconic Hector Peterson shooting in a scene from ‘I am an African’. Picture: JUDY DE VEGA

DIAZ Primary school pupils gladly gave up their school holidays to perfect their moves by rehearsing for the upcoming I am an African musical, to be held at the Athenaeum in June.

The group of 140 pupils, mainly from surrounding townships and suburbs, practise daily for six hours, doing thorough warm ups, singing and dancing sessions and telling the story of a democratic South Africa.

The show aims to display their talents to the wider city while building their character and to believe in themselves while teaching self-discipline at the same time.

Producer and director Wilma Brisley, a teacher at the school, described her pupils as a determined bunch who are willing to contribute as much of their time as possible.

“During rehearsals pupils literally come out of their shells, they love being on stage and there are many great vocalists who show so much potential,” Brisley said.

Pupil Lutho Peter, 13, said she enjoyed every part of rehearsals.

“I woke up yesterday morning and my aunt who I usually get taxi fare from left for work, so I asked my grandmother if my aunt left money for me, she then said no, I immediately cried because I so badly wanted to be here,” Lutho said.

Lead vocalists Njongo Lozipho, 9, Aiden Syce, 14, and Olwethu Buwa, 14, said they were quite nervous but ready.

“The nerves are adding up but I’m pretty sure that the show will be super awesome,” Aiden said.

Head of NMMU computing sciences Jean Greyling, who is involved in publicising the musical, said: “These pupils take pride in what they do, they can do anything and everything they set their minds to.”

I am an African ties in with artistic drawings of iconic moments from history done by Diaz Primary School pupils earlier this week.

Both positive artistic pieces will be displayed at the musical next month.

NMMU is partnering with Diaz to help sponsor the show and will feature an excerpt from I Am An African at its annual Africa Day celebrations later this month. – Chanice Koopman

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