Botsotso Ensemble – No Money For Jam (Episode 1)
Botsotso Ensemble – No Money For Jam (Episode 2
Botsotso Ensemble – No Money For Jam (Episode 3)
This play engages with the post ‘hard lockdown’ economic crisis during which one and a half million jobs were lost, and retained employees were faced with wage cuts, shorter working hours and increased casualization. It also examines the tensions caused by confinement that led to a marked increase in gender violence.
The context of the play is a series of shop steward meetings which engage with a company proposal to reduce worker income in the name of covering losses inflicted by the lockdown. A sub-plot is the sexual harassment of one of the female shop stewards by a male shop steward and the resulting divisions which this causes while the workers are on strike to protect their living standards and job security.
Muyahavho – Ike Muila
POEM: ECONOMY: YOLISWA MOGALE
Last section: “In reality a slave is never free/she’s just a slave to their economy”
FADES INTO MUSIC: FIRST SECTION OF THE ANGLO-BOER WAR OVERLAID WITH DJEMBE SEBENZELE UBALA SONG CONTINUES IN THE BACKGROUND
Trueman: It is the third month after the great covid 19 lockdown was lifted. The country is reeling. Firstly, at the number of infections and deaths but even more at the social cost: almost three million people having lost their livelihoods; their means to pay the rent, pay the spaza, pay the school, pay the mashonisa.
Simphiwe: There was hunger. And when the news of corruption in the awarding of tenders for Personal Protection Equipment for the safety of health workers and patients, as well as in the distribution of food parcels for the hungry, was made known, there was great anger. Mzansi seethed with frustration.
Mzamo: And, as the first surge of the virus spent itself, bosses in the work place forgot the lesson of the pandemic – that we are all subject to far greater forces than ourselves, and must practice what we preach about solidarity.
Thandeka: The bosses began to cut down the rights of workers; the state’s actions to address the crisis wavered between the ruling party’s factions.
Yandisa: Mzansi was crying for leadership but only shadows appeared; only shadows stood at the door and watched as the land was struck with troubles.
ALL: SYSTEM FAILURE! SYSTEM FRACTURE! SYSTEM FAILURE! SYSTEM FRACTURE!
KNOCK ON DOOR
Patrick: Come in!
Simphiwe: Good morning, Mr Oberholzer. You asked to see us.
Patrick: Yes, that’s right, Simphiwe. Come in. How did the elections go?
Simphiwe: They went very well. We have a strong shop steward committee now.
Patrick: Ah, that’s good news. But I hope not too strong, hey? Can’t have too many fights, right?
Yandisa: (Mockingly) Don’t worry, sir – we won’t forget who Is the boss.
Patrick: Ah, Yandisa . . . so pleased to see some old faces.
Yandisa: I’m Sidwell’s alternate. He’s still off sick.
Patrick: OK, no problem. Welcome and please sit. There’s tea and coffee on the side table.
Simphiwe: Yo, I don’t mind if I do sit. My legs will be thankful for the rest.
Patrick: I can imagine – being on your feet the whole day isn’t a joke.
Simphiwe: Especially when you’re paid peanuts and you’re still expected to smile at the joke.
But before we start, let me ask the committee to introduce themselves. Ok, comrades?