The story of Ouma Katrina Esau, one of the last fluent speakers of the ancient San language N/UU, premiered this week at the Artscape in Cape Town.
Katrina: The Dancing Language is a flagship production to mark the theatre’s heritage programme.
The 85 year old hails from Upington in the Northern Cape on the seam of the Kalahari Desert.
The dancing production highlights the plight for the survival of the oldest language of the San people of Southern Africa.
Esau says ensuring the survival of her language is her life’s passion.
Esau, “I don’t want the language to die because it is my mother tongue and I grew up with this language. It is my great grandmother’s language. I want everybody to talk the language as they do English and Afrikaans.”
Management of the Artscape Theatre in Cape Town says it’s important to showcase South Africa’s diverse cultures through stage plays.
The theatre’s CEO Marlene Le Roux said, “It is a language of rhythm, it’s a language of the DNA of our continent and that’s why this production as a production house, Artscape, has decided to produce it along with Coenie, Deon Myburgh and Kirvan Fortuin. What is important of this production it’s a language but a language with culture and this is so important that everybody matters.”