Megan's Head

A place where Megan gets off her head.

Oh thello

Can somebody please tell Yazeed Kamaldien, who, in his review of UCT’s production of Othello says, “Zwedala, who is said to be the first black South African to play Othello in a theatre in SA, offers an inspiring performance. He is so good that he makes one wonder about the nonsense behind painting white male actors black to play the role of the darker skinned man.”, that John Kani played in Janet Suzman’s Othello, at the Market Theatre in 1988, to huge success? Black man. South African theatre. In SA. And can somebody ask him who the “is said” are that he refers to? Who has said? That’s not journalism. I mean, where does he get this stuff? Or is he just trying to get away with the ‘white man painted black’ bullshit that hasn’t happened in this or any other country that I know of for many many years? Come on!

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4 Comments

  1. Yazeed Kamaldien

    Hello Meg… thanks for this… problem is it was weird getting the facts from theatre persons while rushing to meet the deadline… everyone was ooh and aah about a good performance but nobody that i asked at opening night, and via a few phone calls later, could confirm whether Othello was played previously by a black SAfrican man… in fact a very prominent theatre director in Cape Town told me he was this occassion presented the first black man to play Othello… so i based this comment in my piece on feedback from various theatre sources… there is no handbook on SA theatre that we can rely on… so we talk directly to the persons involved and also through our own record of events… we try our best though.

    for the record, there was an attempt to find the facts… thanks for pointing out… appreciated. And also, for the record, i am not “trying to get away with… bullshit”… it’s just so unbelievably easy to make such statements based on who knows what kind of assumptions, isn’t it? Hold that horse, babe. Just had to reply to put things on context… and i don’t apologise for trying to at least put things in a context of past, present and future when it comes to reporting South Africa and its many facets, particularly arts and particularly arts in Cape Town…

    Love the fact that you moan though… it’s like sooo white South Africa 😉 OMG Did I Just Say That?! KEEP WELL

  2. megan

    I can’t believe how long it took you to find this Yazeed! Well, it’s good you haven’t been spending time googling yourself like us actors do.
    Me thinks the man doth protest too much ne? Honestly Yazeed, commentary is valuable and vital but ONLY if it is based on fact, otherwise it becomes “bullshit”. You can’t use a political argument to make commentary if the facts aren’t true. That’s the whole point with Shakespeare innit?
    Anyway, moan I did, white I am, and John Kani is black and played Othello. Google it!

  3. Yazeed Kamaldien

    Goodness, what would we do without Google… why didn’t I think of that? I Google myself all the time. It’s a means to extort cash from people pretending to be me or who use my work without paying me. Haha. Had no idea you kept a blog and needed to find copies of some of mr articles online — currently sitting in Khartoum. You gotta love the modern world. Oh and the info about this young actor wasn’t meant as commentary at all. It was more trying to state the obvious. Unfortunately I was minsinformed. Or forgot about Google. Although I trusted the theatre sources. More than I would trust Google. Don’t stop moaning.

  4. megan

    Khartoum hey? Wow. What’s the theatre scene like there?

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