With Black History month in full swing, we are excited to share with you the staging of Siphiwo Malala’s two-man play re-imagining the lifelong friendship between the South African anti-apartheid activist Bloke Modisane and the American author Langston Hughes. After a premier last year, the play returns to the stage from February 16 to 26 at the University of Johannesburg’s Art Center.

Titled Bloke and His American Bantu, the play relives the story of Modisane from Sophiatown in South Africa and Hughes from Harlem, New York, and how their lives intersect following Modisane’s exile in London at the peak of apartheid. According to factual historical accounts, Hughes had befriended Modisane around this time in spite of the great distance separating them. With the help of the United Negro College Fund and the American Society of African Culture (AMSAC), he organized a lecture series for Modisane in various states across the US. The play focuses on the enduring friendship that developed between them within this time frame.

Sello Maake kaNcube directs with Anele Nene playing Bloke Modisane and Josias Dos Moleele playing Langston Hughs. Nene has been featured in many stage productions and is the recipient of a dozen awards. Moleele has appeared in many well received commercials as well as international features, most notably the Clint Eastwood-directed film Invictus.

The production is supported by the Sello Maake kaNcube Foundation in association with Iconic Productions.

You can get your tickets here.

Enjoy a few photos from the staging October 2021.