Bonga Sibisi has worked at Blue Moon for eight months, but he's been a self-confessed fan since 2009 when he watched the Blue Moon-produced 15th South African Music Awards (SAMAs). He was recently a writer on an Industrial Theatre piece for Somkhele Mine. We found out about this creative process (and more) from him...
What do you do at Blue Moon?
I am one of the creative writers for the company's biggest account, Eskom internal communications. You were also key to Blue Moon's latest Industrial Theatre piece for Somkhele Mine. What is your experience with this type of theatre?
Not much, until recently! Blue Moon has exposed me to many interesting areas of creativity. The journey of actually being behind the scenes in industrial theatre, conceptualising, writing a piece and seeing it come alive has been a fun and "Fresh" journey for me.Who else was part of the team that came up with the Somkhele script?
Dominique, one of our creatives, began with the concept in English, and then I turned it into an authentic Zulu piece. I polished it here and there to appeal to a rural Zulu community and to give it that radical, dramatic tone that Zulu-speaking people relate to.What was the play about?
It showed a slice of life of a rural Zulu family striving to make a difference in their community. The script was designed to take three characters from three different backgrounds, with different views, different emotions and varied levels of maturity, and bring them together as one, to inspire the audience to work together to uplift their community and protect the mine.How did you find the right actors?
We (with renowned South African film director, James Ngcobo) auditioned about 30 actors, who performed a Zulu monologue. What kind of actors were you looking for?
More than actors who could simply recite lines, we picked people who showed the ability to develop a unique character, and to perform with confidence and control in hardcore Zulu.Were you on the road at all when the theatre was performed?
Yes. I travelled with the crew to my home province, KwaZulu-Natal, and spent a lot of my time there with the actors. How did the audience respond?
It was the first time we produced this type of Employee Engagement piece for the people of Mtubatuba and Somkhele Mine. The audience responded very well and could relate to the storyline as well as the characters.So there was audience participation?
Yes, we had lots of questions from the audience and this ignited good dialogue between the workers and their employers. Employees felt part of the decision-making processes that the company was embarking on. The theatre piece became a foundation for great employer/employee interaction to come.Why do you think theatre is a good creative medium for corporates?
It is edutainment, the art of Corporate Communication. Industrial Theatre allows for audience participation and uses a lot of humour and entertainment, rather than instructive lecturing, as an approach. You also worked on the Metro FM Awards concept, which must have been a completely different experience?
What's exciting about being a creative and working on different accounts is that we learn so much about different industries and we get to be skilled in various formats across that many areas of industry. Sounds like fun...
It's a lot of fun. We go from being serious engineers, to being fun entertainers, through to electricians, sexy models, politicians, doctors and so forth. My golden thread is thinking as the end user, not just as a writer.Besides work fun, what other fun do you like to have?
(Laughs) Apparently I'm very boring; there's really not much fun to brag about. However, I am excited and inspired about running my own Christian clothing brand called Faith Collection Wear (FCW). Tell us more...
Through FCW, we've touched a lot of people's lives and have helped ordinary people become extraordinary. This is the only clothing brand in the world that goes beyond making a fashion statement and is designed to inspire people to have faith, love and hope. Visit us on www.faithcollection.co.za That does sound inspiring. Thanks, Bonga!