On the inspirational power of exceptional women in the wake of Winnie Mandela. Power up! Be unapologetic!
What’s it like to be a woman, an activist, and black? When do you rebel and seize your rightful place? In Dear Winnie, stories by nine actresses, singers and performers with African roots (from among others South Africa, Cameroon, Ghana, Cape Verde, Suriname and the Caribbean islands) are interwoven with that of Winnie Mandela, activist against the apartheid regime. Stories about shared history, connected to those of the Netherlands, filled with power, ruthless honesty and the seeds of inspiration and hope.
Nine voices, nine bodies, in a a set of self-created musical instruments, truthful stories and infectious energy. Power up!
After a successful cooperation with writer Fikry El Azzouri for Salam (for which Guy Weizman won the director’s award in 2018), the NNT invited El Azzouri along with his makers-collective for a follow-up. He brought along director Junior Mthombeni and composer/musician Cesar Janssens to Groningen for Dear Winnie.
Rehearsals Dear Winnie,
“This collective is an inspiring group of makers that create accessible, energetic, moving and important productions.”- Guy Weizman
During the battle against apartheid, ANC-member Maurice Mthombeni (father of director Junior Mthombeni) wrote to Winnie Mandela. The letter was intercepted and placed in the national newspaper by the South African pro-apartheid-government to create division within the ANC. Maurice Mthombeni then escaped to Europe to continue the battle there.
For director Junior Mthombeni, the son of an ANC-warrior, Winnie Mandela has always been a symbol for the progressive forces within South Africa, a country divided by apartheid. In modern times, where people seem to understand each other less and less, and the grey area between right and wrong is increasingly shrinking, he believes the time is right to show Winnie Mandela as a source of inspiration.
The production isn’t just about Winnie, who, despite humiliation, abuse, mistakes, and exile, continued to resist apartheid with determination. Dear Winnie focuses on the people who are currently undergoing their own battle. Where do they find their sources of strength?
Language no Problem
This performance is multilingual with Dutch and English surtitles in every venue. So language is not a problem.