Learners who learn differently are often regarded only in terms of what they cannot do, rather than what they are able to.
But the pupils of Lathi-tha School of Skills have defeated that notion by being part of Amabali Ethu, a campaign that saw pupils creating their own musical theatre production, Finding David, based on Athol Fugard’s novel Tsotsi.
Finding David is a multi-disciplinary project that seeks to empower through teaching new skills that promote awareness of self, communication, teamwork, reading, writing, music appreciation, musical abilities, movement, choreography and other skills while cultivating a love for musical and storytelling traditions.
Facilitated by Cape Town Opera, the pupils at Lathi-tha successfully performed a workshopped retelling of the moving story of David, a violent gangster whose life changes after he accidentally steals a baby.
Teacher and co-ordinator, Ntombozuko Mazosiwe, was impressed by the children’s performance. “This has brought awareness to them. This is what they are experiencing in their day-to-day lives. Finding David has clearly woken them up and taught them something,” she told Vukani.
“It has helped with their self-esteem. It gave them courage to enhance their chances to be heard and seen. The children have worked (hard and) we are impressed with the talent we have,” she said.
Anther teacher, Erik Klaas, said he hoped the production would not be the last one at the school.
“We are crossing fingers that many more will come our way. But this is a great achievement by the school. It is not everyone that gets opportunities like these. Cape Town Opera and Fugard Films are the biggest companies and we are truly grateful to have worked with them,” he said.
Finding David is directed by Mhlanguli George, with music by Anelisa Xapa and Bongani Magatyana, designs by Christiaan Harris.