From traditional Xhosa choral music, to jazz and jive dancing of the 1950s township dance halls; from struggle songs of the 1980s, to the liberation music of the 1990s, Mandela Trilogy celebrates the vibrant variety of South African music while dramatising the defining moments that shaped Mandela’s life.
The story begins in Mandela’s birthplace, in the town of Qunu in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. After his initiation into manhood and rejection of a traditional arranged marriage, Mandela decides his future lies beyond the Qunu hills and he flees to Johannesburg.
The narrative continues to act two with Mandela working as a lawyer in the township of Sophiatown, shortly before the Nationalist Party’s forced eviction of the township residents. Mandela’s political education and community leadership role becomes more pronounced during this time, as he rallies black South Africans toward the African National Congress cause.
The story concludes in act three, with the repercussions of the Sharpeville Massacre, Mandela’s trial and incarceration, and his eventual release from the infamous Robben Island prison.