Vuli

PDFPrintE-mail

Vuli

by Sheela Langeberg

SET IN THE ADELAIDE ROOM AT THE ADELAIDE CITY COUNCIL TOWN HALL AND KILIMANJARO, TANZANIA, THIS DANCE/DRAMA PRODUCTION IS ABOUT SHEELA'S LIFE AND IS BASED ON HER UPCOMING BOOK "UNDER THE RED JACARANDA".

A MAJOR PART OF THIS PRODUCTION WILL BE A SOUND SCAPE. PARTICULAR SOUNDS TYPIFYING THE REGION WILL FEATURE AT DIFFERENT TIMES THROUGHOUT THE PRESENTATION.

THE PLAY WILL RUN FOR APPROXIMATELY 55 MINUTES AND IS SUITABLE FOR ALL AGE GROUPS.

On January 26th, 1996, Sheela, along with hundreds of other migrants around Australia, became an Australian Citizen.

The night before she could not sleep - worried that she hadn't learnt the national Anthem of her new country. Then she was worried about what to wear for the occasion. And when she thought she had tackled these two problems, her manager rang her to say that TV and various newspapers were coming to the ceremony and wanted to interview her. That was not all that worried her. She started to worry that the ceremony, unlike that of her own culture, might be too restrained and boring. Nobody would be singing and dancing and ululating.

In the midst of her worries, her mind flashed back to her village where on an occasion like this, people would be dressed up. Preparations for such a day could take weeks. There would be plenty of food and drinks for the occasion.

She imagined how the women would be dressed in colourful dresses, majestic head pieces and wonderful hair designs - each design telling a story. There would be children everywhere. Men would be in their big robes.

Then she thought of her mother and what she would be doing on a day like today. She would be dancing about, and she would be leading the chanting. Her body would be ambulating up and down with the dancing. And when her wrapper or head piece threatens to fall, she would clinch it to her body and continue dancing and chanting for her daughter.

Sheela's mind stayed in her village as the Lord Mayor called the names of those who were to become new Citizens. She remembers her childhood, the games she played with her siblings and friends under a jacaranda tree that grew in front of her home. The carnivals that her grandfather took her to, the different characters in her village and the different teaching that girls had to attend before entering adulthood - initiations, superstitions and taboos. But most of all, she remembered her mother's wise words about life.

On the morning of the citizenship, Sheela is not sure if she should wear an African outfit or blend her two cultures in clothing. In the midst of her confusion, her dead mother appears. Mother reminds her of what she had always told her and her siblings.

Suddenly, Sheela's name is called out. It's time for her to become a Citizen. In that moment, she hears two women seated at the back of the packed hall, ululating "kwilililii". They just couldn't help themselves. At that moment, Sheela knew that she was not alone.

She receives her certificate and she joins the women in dancing and chanting. The order of the room is destroyed.

joomla template
  APAI - ABN 49 435 575 428
Copyright © 2017 Sheela Sheena Langeberg. All Rights Reserved.
A Fellow Design