Kayamandi: The Musical

I never realized that I have been living with a star! Her name is Lelethu Zulu and she is Mama Zulu’s daughter. She performs every Friday at a local concert venue called AmaZink Live; one of the gems of the Kayamandi township. All of the volunteers have went to see her performance throughout the past weeks except for Eric and myself. Eric because he’s been busy and myself because I had zero interest. A couple days ago, Eric asked me if I wanted to go. I’ve heard all the volunteers rave about how great Lelethu’s show was so I decided to give in and go as well. But first thing’s first, I need to get rid of all this hair on my head!

Hanneke was pretty keen to shave my beard off, so I promised her when the time came, she could do it. The time was now. I borrowed a set of Eric’s clippers and she went at it!


On this trip, whenever I shave off my beard, I always get my haircut at the same time. Fortunately, Clara is experienced at cutting mens hair. What did I have to lose? I let her cut away as I nervously sat in anticipation. She’s the first friend that I ever let cut my oddball hair with three separate cowlicks. Clara cut most of it while Gesa sat right in front of me and couldn’t stop giggling! They were having a little fun with it. If they messed up somehow, I would get it fixed tomorrow at a proper barber. Hanneke cut one side of my hair and then Clara trimmed up the details and voila! It looked pretty good. Thanks ladies!



The next day, I woke up…and it was weird. Usually, when I wake up, Chris and I plan what we’re doing for the day. I’ve grown used to sharing a room, so this was a bit lonely. On the bright side, I caught up on some major blogging and regained a significant pace. Later on, the same kids from yesterday showed up minus Aphiwe and Atha. Once they got here, I realized how much of a necessity my iPhone was last year. They had my iPad, my then properly working iPod, and my iPhone, to play games on. This time I only had my iPad. Also, I had more sports equipment last year as well. While some kids played games, the others and I played more Ligretto. They are really taking a liking to that game! I purposely slow my pace so I wouldn’t beat them in a landslide. Luthando, Mawande, and Simphiwe are getting mighty fast though! Oh, you guys aren’t familiar with Lithando and Simphiwe. In addition to the original Kayamandi kids, a new group of kids frequent the Zulu house. Some standouts are Luthando (Nintendo), Simphiwe, Wande, Khanyisa, Nande, Asive, and Ayobongo. I’m sure I’m forgetting a kid or two but they are the new group of kids who come over as often, if not more, than the original Reaching Out 2 The World kids. Anyways, later on it was time to get dressed and go to Lelethu’s performance at Amazink!

Along with Eric, we were accompanied with one of Eric’s cousins who came to visit him for a few days, and also his cousins’ friend. When we walked to the door of the venue, we were greeted by Lelethu and the other cast members with a stomping song and dance. Pretty cool!


What was even cooler was the free tickets Eric was able to get us. Nice! We arrived a little early, so we went out to the outdoor stage and had a little drum session thanks to Vuyo, who works at the Trust Center next door. There we also saw Lelethu meeting and greeting everyone telling them the show would start soon. We hadn’t eaten yet, so we went inside to order our food. Soon, the lights dimmed, the music played, and the show began!




I didn’t know exactly what to expect. I knew Lelethu would be singing but I didn’t really realize that it was kind of like a musical except it was up close and personal. The crowd sat in the middle of two adjacent stages that were joined by two walkways that went through audience. In the center of the room was a platform where the lead singer of a song or dance could belt out so everyone could see.


The cast members were telling a story. From what I could understand, apparently two famous singers who came from Kayamandi were returning from their tour overseas. The singers told of the stories and comments they heard from the foreigners they met, mainly with questions about South Africa. Each comment led to a different song and dance with all the performers taking a part. One of the songs I remember pretty well was called “Welcome to Capetown”, where each member performed a song and dance through the audience with a colorful umbrella prop. It was pretty neat actually. Later on, there were issues within the cast being brought to light. Relationships, make-ups, and break-ups became the topic of the show. Lelethu had a handful of solo bouts and she sounded amazing. I knew she would! Every morning before I wake up, I could hear her singing different songs all the way from my room. But I never mind it, because she sings extremely well.

There was an intermission during the show where the cast members summoned everyone to the outside stage where they put on a performance there too.


We went back inside, where we got talking to a couple next to us. They were talent scouts and the guy was a director for mainstream plays. They were here scoping the talent and had their eyes specifically on two of the main singers in the cast. I made it known to them that we were there to watch our housemate Lelethu Zulu perform, just so they could know her name and maybe keep an eye on her.

A lot of the next half was interaction with the audience, getting them involved to dance. You won’t EVER see me dance without a little liquid courage so thankfully I was able to narrowly avoid any advances to come up and dance with them! Also, maybe I just didn’t want to show them up ;). Towards the end of the night, the talent scouts were out of their seats dancing away which hopefully is a great indication of things to come for Amazink.



After nearly three hours, the show was over. It was much better than I anticipated! Lelethu put on an amazing show. I expect to see her on a big stage overseas someday!

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