He has danced his way through hundreds of popular musicals in South Africa, New Zealand and the United States and received training from the world’s best, and now Sonwa Sakuba is channeling his wealth of experience back to his hometown.
Sakuba, 27, will be choreographing I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, a long-running Off Broadway musical about love and relationships, at the Guild Theatre next month.
He said the idea to do the contemporary show came about during a coffee meeting with East London director Amanda Bothma in New York.
“We were talking about what musicals to put on here and I mentioned it to her and it became the plan and so as soon as I came back to East London in April, we started planning it.”
Bothma will direct the show, with Jacques du Plessis as musical director. Sakuba, who appeared in a colossal 418 shows of Pieter Toerien’s production of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat both in South Africa and on tour in New Zealand, as well as a sting of musicals including African Footprints, A Chorus Line, Hairspray, West Side Story and Guys and Dolls after graduating from the Waterfront Theatre School, recently completed a scholarship stint at the Martha Graham Centre of Contemporary Dance in New York.
“While I was there I got into an Off Broadway musical called Cry-Baby: The Musical, which did a tour of the States and I was the dance captain of the ensemble, which was amazing.
Back at his Cambridge family home, Sakuba is in the process of setting up the Sonwa Sakuba Performing Arts Foundation as an NPO, and has already started giving classes at venues in Mdantsane and Cambridge.
“I’m bringing everything I’ve learnt and this show will have a lot of styles and movements from Broadway musicals,” he said.
I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change will be staged at the Guild Theatre from September 12 to 21 at 7.30pm. Bookings at Computicket.