Interview, Summer Nights

Sum Up Summer Nights | Kuda Ndlovu | An Evening of African Poetry | SUMMER NIGHTS 2023

Kuda Ndlovu is one of the co-presenters of An Evening of African Poetry at The Blue Room this Summer Nights 2023. We caught up ahead of the show to find out what it’s all about.

What is your show about?

An Evening of African Poetry and Storytelling (EAPS) is a collection of stories carefully woven to capture the modern-day migrant experience. Sizzling rap, beautiful melodies, and spoken word performances, accompanied by a live band, take you on an endless journey that engulfs 5 oblivious homes. The destination? A sense of belonging.

Favourite part of the show, no spoilers!

We’re honestly most excited to introduce the live experience of the show. This will include a special element that wasn’t possible during the digital presentation of the first-ever iteration of EAPS. Summer Nights will be the first time we get to share the experience with our audience and we can’t wait for the audience to join in for the crowd-friendly portion of the show. Yes. A jam session. The jam session is our favourite part.

How important is the Summer Nights program to the Perth theatre scene?

Hugely important. The journey of independent creators and performers is quite a harrowing experience as it is, even worse when you have limited outlets willing to let you showcase your talents. Speaking from the independent artist experience, as well as the CaLD community experience, we are simply finding our feet in the space. It’s hard to find opportunities to develop as artists while gaining industry insight and soft skills along the way. What The Blue Room Theatre has achieved with the Summer Nights program is making that impossible burden, a reality. They’ve intentionally sought out independent and emerging artists and provided a platform for them to shine. More importantly, what the general public doesn’t see in the background is the amazing support The Blue Room Theatre provides, elevating our industry preparation in the process. We can’t thank them enough for the opportunity.

What inspired you to create this work?

A very real lived and shared experience. The Outsiders was formed as a result of a university assignment callout gone horribly right. Outsiders co-founder Mohammed ‘Ayo Busari’ put a callout for a university assignment titled ‘Afro Lookbook’, meeting fellow Outsiders co-founders Lisa Watson and ‘Kuda Mic’ Ndlovu, as well as TAB Family lead vocalist Ayuba SOQS whom he had briefly met on a few different occasions while at university in the UK. Since that day, the group has never looked back. In getting to know each other during the process of developing and curating numerous shows, exhibitions and events, there was a growing understanding of our shared experience. We all originated from different parts of Africa, yet adopted temporary homes, before finally landing here, in Boorloo (Perth, Western Australia) where we undoubtedly met each other for a purpose. We are unique because of our experiences, yet we share an inexplicable connection through them. Having experienced the joy of building up a community of BIPOC creatives through our various projects, we felt it was only right to present a theme that we believe is fundamental to the strengthening of bonds in the African diaspora community. It starts with an introspective look into what ‘home’ means and an acceptance of the individual’s role in building their new village.

Describe your show in 3 words:

Captivating. Stirring. Togetherness.

You can catch the energetic evening of African poetry at The Blue Room Theatre until 4th February 2023. TICKETS

Keep up with The Fourth Wall on Facebook and @fourth_wall_media on Instagram to see what we’re up to in 2023.

The Fourth Wall acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land we engage in storytelling on – the Wadjhuk people of the Noongar nation. We pay respects to their elders past, present, and emerging.

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