Poet laureate and anti-apartheid struggle veteran Professor Mongane Wally Serote’s praise poem for the late struggle hero Oliver Reginald Tambo, Sikhahlel’u OR – A Tribute to Oliver Reginald Tambo is being adapted into a stage play which will debut at the South African State Theatre (SAST) From 23 to 26 March 2023. Directed by Ntshieng Mokgoro and featuring Ntsika Ngxanga(The Soil) as music director, the production stars actors Harriet Manamela(Skeem Sam), Thokozani Mthiyane and Thabo Ramaine.

Sikhahlel’u OR chronicles the life and times of O.R Tambo who served as president of the African National Congress (ANC) from 1967 to 1991. It follows Tambo from childhood in Mbizana, Eastern Cape, to the struggle, his role in the ANC and captures his vision for South Africa. The play also pays tribute to many others who participated in the struggle and some who paid for this liberation with their lives – A timeous reminder of the cost at which freedom came.

Presented by SAST in partnership with the National Poet Laureate Hub, Sikhahlel’u OR is an adaptation of the namesake poem by Prof. Serote, which received great acclaim from the literary circle after its publishing in 2019. Former President Thabo Mbeki called it “An immensely creative work of love.”

After suffering complications following a stroke, Tambo died on April 24, 1993 at the age of 75. His death came a year before the 1994 general election in which Nelson Mandela became President.

“OR, if you were here in this time of history, what would you say what would you do?”   Mongane Wally Serote

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