New Bushman play to be staged next week

August 10, 2005

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A new play telling the story of the eviction of the Gana and Gwi Bushmen and their campaign to return to their land is being staged in South Africa next week.

South African community development worker Elijah Molahlehi wrote ’Survival in the Wilderness' after visiting the evicted Bushmen at New Xade resettlement camp last year. He said, ’Visiting New Xade was really something, where people are homeless, their houses were destroyed in the times of eviction…. Everyone is saying WE WANT TO GO BACK HOME.'

’The government is claiming development, but the reality is, the government is oppressing the Basarwa [Bushman] people, starting with their lies about development…. The Basarwa people didn't use money because they didn't need it. And now in New Xade, they need it but they don't have it. There is no way to survive there, no hunting and no planting.'

Playwright Charlotte Jones, whose hit adaptation of ’The Woman in White' is playing in London's West End, said today, ’I am so pleased that the plight of the Bushmen of the Central Kalahari has been highlighted in the form of a stage-play. All over the world Indigenous people are being dispossessed of their land and resources. I sincerely hope that this drama will help bring their plight to a wider audience.'

’Survival in the Wilderness' will be performed at the Oppenheimer Theatre in Welkom on 15, 16 and 17 August at 2pm and 7pm. For tickets call (27) (0)57 357 1214/5.

Photos available. For more information contact Miriam Ross on (
44) (0)20 7687 8734 or email [email protected]