The Fishermen, a play currently running at the Market Theatre until Sunday 4 August, in Johannesburg is a display of life’s complexities.
The play stirs up one’s core as it investigates universal values and principles of trust, love and bond in a witty, humourous way while displaying prophecies that cause unnecessary deaths, unwarranted sibling rivalry, intense passion and depth of chaotic and emotional upheaval ultimately obliterating the Agwu family throughout an intense dramatization and an execution of the highest note.
The play is narrated through the channels of two brothers – Ben and Obiema, the youngest of the four Agwu boys. The setting is the Omi-Ala River, Akure Town in Nigeria, and the two nostalgically reminisce about their bitter sweet family life during dictator Sani Abacha’s presidential militia regime.
The Fishermen was authored by Nigeria writer Chigozie Obioma, a Man Booker-shortlisted novel that raked in over 21 recognitions in the year it was published – 2015. The Fisherman has been translated into 24 languages in 26 countries and was adapted for the stage by award winning playwright Gbolahan Obisesan. It made its way to South Africa after Market Theatre artistic director, James Ngcobo who collided with the gripping plot in the text, read it and was sold on it.
The stage craft under Ngcobo’s stellar directorship is a seamlessly engaging transaction through the two actors – Siyanbonga Thwala and Warren Masemola who take a retrospective journey into their characters’ young lives, two decades later. They execute multiple characters transitioning from impersonating their parents and siblings, to playing the madman prophet and soldiers, even giving character to frantic chickens.
Thwala and Masemola masterfully interrogate parents’ hopes for their children and demonstrate that even young ones have minds of their own which could either be abiding or curiously explorative in uncharted waters. Working the script the two show that when trust is wavered, restoration becomes a tall order and where restoration fails a dark cloud dissipates even the slightest hope.
The Agwus family is a two parent household with a father who earns a living as a Bank of Nigeria executive and a mother who runs a vegetable stall. They are a middle class family with dreams for their children in professional careers, but when Ben and Obiema’s father gets transferred to a different state by the bank, only seeing the family quarterly, leaves a vacuum. The boys mother is left to single-handedly run the household and perpetuate the discipline their father had instilled.
Her failings are constantly accentuated by the boys’ misdemeanours, at one point fishing at the river they are even forbidden to cross. Providence would have them cross paths with Abulu the madman, prophesying that one of the brothers, Ikenna, would die at the hands of a fishermen. He points a finger at one of the brothers, shaking the bond that ties them as brothers and sowing division and rivalry, which ends tragically when one brother is murdered by his sibling who then commits suicide.
In rage and in an act of revenge against Abulu, the youngest brothers end up stabbing the mad prophet. One brother serves eight years for murder and another disappears after stabbing a soldier. Their mother also suffers mental illness and is admitted to an institution.
It is not clear whether or not it was the prediction that spelled the chaos and tragic end for the Agwu’s family and The Fishermen’s cliffhanger ending leaves the audience wondering.
Ngcobo said in a conversation with The Journalist, “The Fishermen is part of the Africa Project installment the Market Theatre deposits into its currency for the patrons benefit as a celebration of indigenous work.”
The director’s genius summoned the pounding bongos, heart piercing and painfully distant sound of Malian Ali Farke Toure, and liberating reverberation of popping and groovy strings of Nigerian Fela Kuti, leaving the audience bobbing and tapping.
The Fisherman is an absolute musical treat in the midst of a tear-jerking presentation – a soundtrack of unity par excellence.
If you missed the play read the book.
Images courtesy of The Market Theatre, photographer Thandile Zwelibanzi.
I am constantly thought about this, thankyou for posting.
Excellent website. A lot of useful information here. I’m sending it to some friends ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks for your effort!
I conceive this website has some rattling superb info for everyone. “Anger makes dull men witty, but it keeps them poor.” by Francis Bacon.
I was just seeking this information for some time. After six hours of continuous Googleing, finally I got it in your website. I wonder what’s the lack of Google strategy that don’t rank this type of informative web sites in top of the list. Generally the top web sites are full of garbage.
I’m impressed, I need to say. Really hardly ever do I encounter a blog that’s each educative and entertaining, and let me inform you, you have got hit the nail on the head. Your thought is excellent; the difficulty is one thing that not sufficient individuals are speaking intelligently about. I am very completely satisfied that I stumbled across this in my search for one thing relating to this.
This design is incredible! You most certainly know how to keep a reader entertained. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Excellent job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!
Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Anyways, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be book-marking and checking back frequently!
There is perceptibly a bunch to identify about this. I think you made various good points in features also.
Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It truly useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and help others like you aided me.
F*ckin’ amazing issues here. I’m very happy to peer your post. Thank you a lot and i’m having a look ahead to touch you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?
I’ve read several good stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how much effort you put to create such a wonderful informative website.
I¦ll right away grab your rss feed as I can’t find your e-mail subscription link or e-newsletter service. Do you have any? Kindly allow me recognize so that I may subscribe. Thanks.
Fantastic beat ! I wish to apprentice even as you amend your website, how can i subscribe for a blog web site? The account aided me a appropriate deal. I have been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided shiny transparent concept
Deference to post author, some superb information .
Hey there, You’ve performed an excellent job. I’ll definitely digg it and for my part recommend to my friends. I’m sure they’ll be benefited from this website.
I was very pleased to find this web-site.I wanted to thanks for your time for this wonderful read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you blog post.
I truly appreciate this post. I’ve been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thank you again!
Whats up very nice blog!! Man .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your website and take the feeds alsoKI am glad to seek out numerous useful information right here in the publish, we’d like develop more strategies in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .
magnificent post, very informative. I wonder why the other specialists of this sector don’t notice this. You should continue your writing. I’m confident, you have a great readers’ base already!
Thank you for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do some research on this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more from this post. I’m very glad to see such excellent information being shared freely out there.
Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is fundamental and all. But think of if you added some great visuals or videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and clips, this site could definitely be one of the best in its niche. Excellent blog!
I like this blog very much, Its a real nice place to read and incur info . “Do not use a cannon to kill a mosquito.” by Confucius.
It?¦s really a nice and useful piece of information. I am glad that you just shared this useful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.
I’m still learning from you, but I’m improving myself. I certainly love reading all that is written on your site.Keep the tips coming. I enjoyed it!
Thanks for another great post. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such an ideal way of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I am on the look for such info.
I real glad to find this site on bing, just what I was searching for : D likewise bookmarked.
Sweet site, super design, rattling clean and utilize friendly.
Wow! This can be one particular of the most beneficial blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Wonderful. I’m also an expert in this topic so I can understand your hard work.
Utterly written written content, Really enjoyed looking through.
Great post. I used to be checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed! Extremely useful info specifically the ultimate section 🙂 I take care of such information much. I was looking for this particular information for a long time. Thanks and good luck.
Can I just say what a relief to find somebody who truly knows what theyre speaking about on the internet. You positively know the way to convey a problem to gentle and make it important. More folks must learn this and understand this aspect of the story. I cant consider youre no more standard since you definitely have the gift.
Rattling clean web site, thankyou for this post.
excellent post.Never knew this, thanks for letting me know.
You made some decent factors there. I regarded on the internet for the difficulty and located most people will associate with together with your website.
I’ve been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this blog. Thanks, I will try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your website?
Hello, i believe that i noticed you visited my blog so i came to “return the favor”.I’m attempting to in finding issues to enhance my website!I guess its good enough to make use of some of your ideas!!
That is very interesting, You are an excessively skilled blogger. I’ve joined your rss feed and look forward to in search of extra of your wonderful post. Additionally, I’ve shared your site in my social networks!
Hi there, I found your blog via Google even as searching for a related matter, your website came up, it seems to be great. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
naturally like your web site but you need to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I find it very bothersome to tell the truth nevertheless I’ll surely come back again.
Hmm it looks like your blog ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to everything. Do you have any suggestions for beginner blog writers? I’d genuinely appreciate it.
Hello! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I really enjoy reading your articles. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same subjects? Thanks a lot!
Hi my family member! I want to say that this article is amazing, nice written and include approximately all important infos. I would like to see more posts like this .
you are really a good webmaster. The website loading speed is incredible. It seems that you are doing any unique trick. Also, The contents are masterpiece. you’ve done a excellent job on this topic!
I have to show thanks to this writer for bailing me out of such a dilemma. As a result of scouting throughout the the web and getting techniques which were not helpful, I believed my life was done. Living devoid of the solutions to the difficulties you’ve fixed by way of your article content is a critical case, and the kind that might have in a wrong way damaged my career if I hadn’t encountered your web page. Your primary training and kindness in handling everything was invaluable. I am not sure what I would’ve done if I hadn’t encountered such a solution like this. I am able to at this point look ahead to my future. Thank you very much for the high quality and amazing guide. I will not be reluctant to recommend your blog to anybody who needs and wants tips about this subject matter.
Thanks a bunch for sharing this with all of us you actually know what you’re talking about! Bookmarked. Kindly also visit my site =). We could have a link exchange arrangement between us!
I want to convey my appreciation for your kind-heartedness giving support to individuals that really want help on the question. Your very own commitment to passing the message up and down had been wonderfully significant and have surely enabled girls just like me to get to their dreams. Your new useful tips and hints denotes so much to me and somewhat more to my mates. Many thanks; from everyone of us.
Keep up the great work, I read few posts on this website and I believe that your site is very interesting and holds bands of wonderful information.
Hello there, I discovered your web site by way of Google at the same time as looking for a related subject, your website got here up, it looks great. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
Some truly nice stuff on this web site, I like it.
That is really fascinating, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and stay up for in the hunt for extra of your excellent post. Additionally, I have shared your site in my social networks!
I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself? Plz reply back as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to know wheere u got this from. thanks
That is the right blog for anyone who wants to seek out out about this topic. You realize so much its almost arduous to argue with you (not that I truly would need…HaHa). You positively put a brand new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Nice stuff, simply nice!
Hello. impressive job. I did not anticipate this. This is a splendid story. Thanks!
I have read some good stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how much effort you put to create such a fantastic informative site.
I got what you intend, appreciate it for posting.Woh I am pleased to find this website through google.
It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I want to suggest you some interesting things or suggestions. Maybe you could write next articles referring to this article. I want to read more things about it!
I really like what you guys are up too. This type of clever work and reporting! Keep up the fantastic works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my personal blogroll.
I believe other website proprietors should take this site as an model, very clean and good user friendly pattern.
I am impressed with this internet site, real I am a big fan .
very good put up, i certainly love this web site, carry on it
I have read a few good stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how much effort you put to create such a wonderful informative web site.
I am happy that I observed this blog, precisely the right information that I was searching for! .
naturally like your web site but you need to check the spelling on several of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I in finding it very troublesome to inform the truth on the other hand I will certainly come again again.
I’m still learning from you, as I’m making my way to the top as well. I definitely love reading all that is written on your site.Keep the tips coming. I liked it!
A powerful share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing just a little evaluation on this. And he actually purchased me breakfast as a result of I discovered it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the deal with! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to debate this, I really feel strongly about it and love reading extra on this topic. If doable, as you change into experience, would you mind updating your weblog with more details? It’s highly helpful for me. Large thumb up for this blog put up!
he blog was how do i say it… relevant, finally something that helped me. Thanks
Thank you for sharing with us, I believe this website genuinely stands out : D.
Rattling clean website , appreciate it for this post.
This is a topic close to my heart cheers, where are your contact details though?
What¦s Happening i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I’ve found It absolutely helpful and it has aided me out loads. I am hoping to contribute & aid different users like its aided me. Great job.