By Tafi Mhaka
Back when I was a child, before life removed all the innocence
My father would lift me high and dance with my mother and me and then
Spin me around ‘til I fell asleep
Then up the stairs he would carry me
And I knew for sure I was loved
If I could get another chance, another walk, another dance with him
I’d play a song that would never, ever end
Luther Vandross: Dance With My Father
Tony Miyambo’s both a man of the present and a man of the past.
He cautiously lives in the present through an agonisingly honest but painful yearning and deep appreciation for the past. Miyambo’s Cenotaph of Dan Wa Moriri, which opens at the Market Theatre in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, in October, is a reflective portrayal of a father’s ceaseless and unconditional love for his son.
Even in death this paternal love finds self-expression in the man Tony Miyambo is.
Following his father’s death, a gloomy Miyambo found himself at the proverbial crossroads: he couldn’t go back in time – back to the days before “life had removed all the innocence”.
He couldn’t move on.
“When Daniel Rasenga Miyambo died in 2007, the world stopped for at least a week. The funeral was planned, food was prepared, people arrived, he was put into the ground, people washed their hands, ate the food and life moved on – but I couldn’t.”
The emptiness – the void created by the passing of a loved one dawned on him as his father’s presence in his thoughts shadowed his absence in the flesh.
His father was gone.
“Waking up each day after that was painful; I could still vividly recall the tone of his voice, the colour of his eyes and the feeling of his touch. It haunted me, he lived everywhere and nowhere at the same time”.
Cenotaph of Dan Wa Moriri easily connects with most of us, forcing us to desperately grasp the intangible emotions and fading memories that humanise us.
Tony B Miyambo graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, Dramatic Arts from the University of the Witwatersrand in 2011.
Cenotaph of Dan Wa Moriri opens on 13 October 2016 at the Market Theatre in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
Author Tony Miyambo
Producer Gita Pather
Original Director Gerard Bester
Dramaturge William Harding
Lighting Design Julia August
Stage Manager Emelda Khola
Season: 13 – 30 October 2016
Opening Night Friday 14 October 2016
Venue: Mannie Manim @The Market Theatre
Show times: Tuesdays to Saturdays @ 20h15 and Sunday @15h15