Cast of Niq Mhlongo's "Nailed"

Niq Mhlongo’s short story Nailed is set to make it on stage at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg, South Africa in February. Nailed is a short story from the Soweto Under The Apricot Tree short story collection.

Niq Mhlongo with his book Soweto Under the Apricot Tree
Niq Mhlongo with his book Soweto Under the Apricot Tree

Niq Mhlongo isn’t unfamiliar to followers of the African literary scene. He emerged in 2004 with his debut novel Dog Eat Dog about the life of a campus student in a South Africa that was just coming out of Apartheid. He followed that in 2007 with After Tears and then in 2015 Way Back Home (our review); some consider the latter to be his finest novel to date. The author also has two short story collections Affluenza published in 2016 and Soweto Under The Apricot Tree published in 2018.

One of the most popular stories in the Soweto Under The Apricot Tree collection is Nailed. In this story, a government official having an affair with a woman with beautiful nails is at his beloved’s home when her husband shows up unannounced and all hell breaks loose. In recent times, Mhlongo has been reading this story to audiences that he meets across the continent from Dar Es Salaam to Johannesburg.

More people can now enjoy the story for the theatre as South African theatre maker Luthando Mngomezulu has written and directed it for the stage. It stars Khulu Skenjana, Aya Mpama, Katlego Letsholonyane, Zesuliwe Hadebe, Nyaniso Dzedze and Lunga Khuhlane.

Here is the blurb from the play;

NAILED is a story about abuse of political power, infidelity and violence. It is a portrayal of corruption, greed and selfishness from politicians who abuse state resources for their personal gain. This story shows how behavior impacts on the lives of ordinary people and how it affects the morale of a country. It shows how corruption corrodes public trust and weakens a democratic system. The extent of this problem is growing public funds being diverted away from the public good towards private interest. Corruption has reached high levels and politicians have become immune to it as they continue to loot and use state resources to impress and to run their own lives as if the taxpayers’ money is their own.

The play Nailed will be at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg from February 8 – March 3, 2019. For more information about booking tickets please click here.

This will not be the first time we will be seeing work by your favourite writer on stage in recent times. Siphiwo Mahala’s The House of Truth also made its run at the very same Market Theatre last year and Lola Shoneyin’s The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives has famously been seen on stages in Nigeria, Kenya, and the UK.