Now Touring: Mama Afrika
A remarkable story full of hope and determination featuring best loved songs including Mbube, Pata Pata and Soweto Blues.
Following the resounding success of the debut 2022 tour, Anna Mudeka returns to the stage as Mama Afrika sharing her interpretation of the life of Dr Miriam Makeba in a powerful one-woman, multi-faceted show over 16 performances across the U.K from January 2024.
Anna Mudeka, tells the remarkable life story of singer, songwriter and civil rights activist, Dr Miriam Makeba, charting her rise from the townships of Johannesburg to global star, forced into exile for her stand against apartheid and marginalised for championing Black rights. Told in four character incarnations chronicling a life blighted by hardship, tragedy and struggle, Mama Afrika features many of Makeba’s best loved songs including Mbube, Pata Pata and Soweto Blues, embodying her irrepressible spirit and integrity and which earned her the legendary status of Mama Afrika.
Mama Afrika features a 90 minute solo performance by Anna Mudeka and is produced for family audiences of all ages. Scripted by Zimbabwean writer Tomas Lutuli Brickhill, musical direction by John Vigar at Tontena Music, backing soundtrack recorded by Zimbabwean multi-instrumentalist Ziva Guveya and Directed by Tonia Daley Campbell.
Supported by Arts Council England, The Makeba Foundation, Norwich Arts Centre, Norwich Theatre, Arts La’Olam and Stuart Hobday
“What a marvellous performance from Anna last night! She gave us the essence of Miriam Makeba as an artist, activist and human being. Anna has a wonderful voice and also that compelling stage quality that engages the audience from start to finish” Cec Darker, Rosemary Branch Theatre
“... it was a sensational experience for me and utterly moving and luminous.”
Audience Member, Norwich Arts Centre
“Mama Afrika is a triumph! Theatre at its purest and most connected.”
Audience Member, Eastern Angles
Multi-instrumentalist, actress, singer, writer and educator, Anna Mudeka is a polymath proud to share the ancestral heritage of her native Zimbabwe through performance and workshops, inviting audiences of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to immerse themselves in sounds, spiritualism and fables of Africa.
Steeped in the history and heritage of her Zimbabwean roots, Anna Mudeka conjures the rich cultural tapestry of sub-saharan Africa through an ever-evolving programme of creative projects. From her multi-talented solo theatrical and musical productions, to large scale choral performances and educational workshops, Anna’s mission is to engage and inspire audiences with the traditions, sounds and legends of her Shona forebears.
Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Anna draws from a wealth of African dance, stories and music traditions, but is particularly inspired by her Shona roots, which has a rich cultural history and identity and is part of the Bantu ethnic group that forms the majority of the population in Sub-Sahara. Anna talks animatedly about Shona music and dance, as a form of expression and a rhythm that is embedded within everyday life. She is not only interested in sharing her own heritage and journey, but also keen to help others find their voice, using stories to help us question who we are and understand the world around us. Anna explains that there are two kinds of storytelling in Zimbabwe; Ngano derives from folk stories, fairytales and myth, whereas Nyaya is based on reality, drawn from our own life experiences. Anna’s outlook and approach to work and life is consciously (and infectiously) optimistic, and she actively practices the theory of happiness, strengths and fulfilment in all that she does.