Hamba set off to war. He won and lost empires, became a king, a beggar and a thief. A hundred years later he is no closer to home. the legend of hamba is a contemporary African Everyman play created specifically for outdoors presentation. ‘Hamba’ is an Ndebele word meaning, ‘Walk!’ or ‘Let’s go! Ndebele is one of the three major official languages in Zimbabwe. In everyday speech it conveys a sense of urgency and energy; metaphysically it communicates a spirit of progress, vitality and perpetual forward motion.
the legend of hamba is conceived as a 20-30 minute physical picaresque, loosely based on the ‘The Everyman’ Morality Play. It follows the fortunes of a central character, Hamba, through three ‘Ages of Man’: The Ages of Conquest, Excess and Harvest. With a cast of four performers using voice, movement, text, masque, music and ‘found’ objects Hamba seeks to explore and reflect on the triumphant and tragic consequences of the primal urge of humanity to survive and endure.
Co-commissioned by Without Walls, Brighton Festival, GDIF, Hat Fair and Watford Palace Theatre.