Ubom! brings message of hope to Festival


Ubom! will be at the Festival this year with Zina and the Songbird.  Photo: Paul Greenway


Sometimes the smallest feet must walk the longest journey…

How does a shy and timid princess rescue a beautiful, frightened Songbird from the beastly jailer?

How does she help the Songbird save the land from a terrible drought?

Can the songbird free up its beautiful voice and bring on the rain? Ubom! Eastern Cape Drama Company, now in its 14th year of contributing to the artistic buzz in the Eastern Cape, presents Zina and the Songbird, directed by Brink Scholtz, at this year’s National Arts Festival.

The captivating story of Zina and the Songbird is shared by talented Grahamstown actors through joyful song and boisterous dance. Ubom!’s well-known physicality, playfulness and puppetry infuse the story.

Zina and the Songbird in 2009 played to sold-out audiences of excitable children in the Rhodes University Theatre.

Zina is just an average and ordinary princess who is called on to do something most extraordinary. She has to rescue the beautiful songbird who is lonely and frightened and imprisoned by the nasty, scary jailer. To do this, Zina must embark on an amazingly adventurous journey, struggling through a land which is parched and gasping for water. The weight of the world is on her shoulders – it is she who has to deliver the only creature who can save the land from the fatal drought.

‘Zina and the Songbird’ is presented by the Ubom1 Eastern Cape Drama Company and directed by Brink Scholtz. This children’s play involves a misfit princess who befriends a songbird who can’t sing. (Photo: CUEPIX/Sarah Schäfer)

Although Zina’s mission is serious and although the story conveys the important and urgent message that we all need to conserve and preserve our beautiful land and its wonderful array of creatures, it is told with great fun and shenanigans.

The playful use of audience engagement keeps all ages actively involved from start to finish. Zina cannot fulfil her mission without assistance and she calls on the audience to help her with all manner of things. When success is achieved, it is a shared victory for everyone!

Zina and the Songbird is directed by seasoned Ubom! member Luvuyo Yanta and he is assisted by another well-known Eastern Cape artist, Ntomboxolo Donyeli.

Funded by the National Lotteries Distribution Trust Fund and Rhodes University, Ubom! is able to create fresh and innovative work that is accessible to all people from all walks of life. Developing future audiences with a deep appreciation and understanding of the arts and theatre is an extremely important endeavour for the Ubom! company.

Zina and the Songbird performs as part of the Grahamstown National Arts Festival, Fringe programme between 29 June and 09 July 2017.

Age recommendation +5 years

Duration one hour

Zina and the Songbird – Ubom! Photo: Paul Greenway


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