Magical Maqoma

I went to the Market Theatre in Johannesburg to watch a dance show called Exit/Exist.

The magic carpet!

It was the story of Chief Jongumsobomvu Maqoma an 19th century Xhosa military commander who fought against the British when they tried to take his land and his cattle. He died on Robben Island prison.

Chief Maqoma photo by GF williams

The dancer was Chief Maqoma’s great, great, great grandson. His name was Gregory Maqoma and his company is the Vuyani Dance Company.

Gregory Maqoma photo byLaurent Philippe

The show started with the dancer in a silver suit with his back to the audience. He did strange shaky body movements like he was having a fit. And then he went back in time and became his ancestor. I knew that because there was a clock that was projected on a screen and it went anticlockwise. Also he changed out of the suit into a chief’s outfit made out of nguni spotty cow skin. He danced carrying horns of a bull.

There were 4 singers and a man playing the guitar. They were a behind a curtain so you could see them and you couldnt see them like in a dream. There but not there. I thought they were people from the Chief’s time. When it is in the present they had masks and they were like ancestors calling him. When it was the past they took off their masks and came out from behind the curtain and became like real people in Chief Maqoma’s time.

I do dancing (latin and ballet) but this was quite different. In my dancing I am taught to be smooth but this was more sharp and rhythmic and forceful. The only dance that i do that has that quality is the latin dance the paso doble which is like a bullfight. All the other dances in latin are smooth but with paso you have to beat your feet into the ground and show no mercy. The dancing that Gregory Maqoma did was like that.

After that we came to the Garden Court hotel in Sandton to spend the night. On the way to the hotel my dad forgot that we were going to the hotel and tried taking us home to Harbeespoort! It wasn’t long before I shouted “stop!!!” and then he remembered we weren’t going home and turned around.

Da da da daaaa Riffs to the rescue!

When we arrived we went straight to Riffs restaurant which is inside the hotel.

Decor at riffs

I had a burger with bacon and avocado and cheese. It was yummy. It was very big. The thing with those big burgers all you can really do is bite, bite, bite in tiny pieces until you are able to get a hold on it. So that is what I did.  I liked it. The chips were really good but you don’t really notice them so much because the onion rings are fantastic. They tasted perfect. My favourite onion rings ever. Top in South Africa.

Worlds biggest burger!

Then I went back to the room – I had my own room which was good because I got to watch YouTube as I wanted.

My room, my rules!

At one point I was just watching and I looked at the clock on the computer and it said midnight.  I watched so long that when I went to sleep it was 2.30 in the morning. I watched Dantdm who is a youtuber. I watched his latest video reacting to the Fortnite season 9 Battle Pass. He said it was so much better than season 8 because the tier 100 skins were much better than the tier 100 skins in season 8. Then I watched some Ninja – he is the best Fortnite player in the world. My friend Thuto wants to be his son. Ninja got a Victory Royale (win) on his first try at season 9. Of course he did. Its Ninja.  Then I watched some MrTop5 who is another Fortnite players (and my second favourite youtuber after Dantdm). I watched like 100 of those videos.

The next morning my dad had to go to work but me and my mum stayed and had lunch at Riffs again.

More decor at Riffs.

This time I had prawns in tempura batter and chorizo sausage with a tomato sauce, potatoes and croutons.

Help it’s hot!

I liked it. It was the perfect meal. They were both supposed to be side dishes but I had them together as a main and they made the perfect amount. For dessert I had apple cobbler with ice cream. It was amazing because the ice cream and the apple cobbler were great together.

Cobbler, no shoemakers were harmed in the making of this product!

Then I watched some more YouTube and finally we had to leave and go to my dance class.  It was a good trip. I would recommend the Exit/Exist dance show to anyone who wants to know about South Africa especially those who live here. I would recommend the hotel to cobbler fans and prawn fans and people who like YouTube a lot.

10 comments to “Magical Maqoma”

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  1. Thank you for such a beautiful description of the dance. I know nothing about dancing but I feel that I know a bit more after reading your analysis of the piece.

  2. It was lovely meeting you and your parents, thank you so much for sharing your experience. Wishing you all the best with your future endeavors. Gregory Maqoma

    • Thank you so, so, so much for reading my blog. I thought your dancing and the whole show was amazing. I hope to see many more of your performances. Love Josiah

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