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Ciku Kimeria
Writer, Adventurer, Development Consultant, Travelblogger
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piqer: Ciku Kimeria
Monday, 04 December 2017

Lion King And Its Impact On The South Africans Who Star In It

Lion King changing South African lives? I started reading the article with skepticism given its grandiose title but was surprised to find it informative, moving and very well-told. By the end of the article, there was no denying that for the South Africans who have performed in the show on stages all over the globe, the experience has been life-changing.

First there is Fumane, the 23-year-old miner's daughter who has dreamed her whole life of playing a part in the Lion King and has remained hopeful despite several unsuccessful auditions.

Then there is Brenda, a 38-year-old Lion King success story. She discovered Lion King when she was a teenage mother and successfully auditioned for the Disney show years after honing her skills performing for a local arts project. Brenda left her family behind and enjoyed a successful career touring the world. In between, she faced years of unemployment and a spiritual crisis, but is now back in South Africa reunited with her husband and children and starring in South Africa's second-most popular opera.

Next is Thandazile, a 43-year-old veteran of the show who has seen her fortunes come and go. Her life story is a heartbreaking one of physical and psychological pain. She was raped and impregnated at the age of 10 by a neighbor. She ran away from home at the age of 14 and lived a life that has left her with physical scars. Thandazile successfully auditioned for Lion King and her life changed. Adversity however found her again and now she lives in a shack in a former sugar-cane field in the south of Durban.  

Finally there is Mduduzi, a 35-year-old South African who has been on the broadway show and achieved sustained success. He wonders about his next stage in life and how to make sure he gives his daughter the best he can - socially and economically. 

It's a thoughtful read that will leave the reader wanting more. 

Lion King And Its Impact On The South Africans Who Star In It
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