Father Come Home (Tate Etla Gae)

The Market Theatre presents Tate Etla Gae a siPedi production written by Es’kia Mphahlele, translated by Rami Chuene and adapted for stage by Clive Mathibe a Department of Sports, Arts and Culture Incubation project will premier from 18 – 28 February 2021.

The Market Theatre is delighted to produce works of this literary giant and celebrate his contribution not only to the South African writing body of work but more to humanity. Mphahlele had a beautiful obsession with humanity and stories that came out of his immediate communities. 17 December 2019 was Eskia Mphahlele centenary, 2021 will mark 41 years since he wrote one of his seminal works Chirundu. Bringing back old voices that have been re imagined by young thespians is part of the 45 years celebration theme The Story Unfolds as we looking into the future of what the spaces represents for young artists” said James Ngcobo – Artistic Director Market Theatre Foundation. 

Tate etla gae follows the life of a young Pedi boy, Maredi, who grows up in a remote village of Sedibeng in the Northern Transvaal without a father. Growing up in a traditional village where manhood is defined by family/clan names and the cultural rites of passage, Maredi grows an emotional and desperate need to define himself through knowing his father. 

Season Dates:  18 – 28 February

New Show Slot: Tues to Sat: 18:00 & Sundays 15:00

When his question ‘When is tate coming home?’ is repeatedly not answered to his satisfaction by his elders, Maredi’s restless soul leads him to venture into strange lands in several failed attempts to find his father. His last quest to find his father sees him journey through the dry and hot Transvaal, where he finds himself working as a farm boy to make some money to enable him to travel the rest of his journey.

After an envoy is sent for Maredi, he agrees to go back home- especially as his mission to find his father has bared no fruits. The lost son is pleasantly surprised when he arrives to his homestead to know that his father has made contact and that he and his mother will make their way to see him. However, when Maredi finally meets his father, he is disappointed that his yearning is not completely satisfied- and that his father’s presence does not do much to settle his restless soul.

“Stop asking me to trust you while I am still coughing up water from the last times you let me down” unknown

Es’kia Mphahlele was a South African writer, educationist, artist and activist celebrated as the Father of African Humanism and one of the founding figures of modern African literature.

He was the recipient of numerous international awards. In 1969, he was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature, and in 1984, he was awarded the Order of the Palm by the French government for his contribution to French Language and Culture. He was the recipient of the 1998 World Economic Forum Crystal Award for Outstanding Service to the Arts and Education. In 1998, former President Nelson Mandela awarded Mphahlele the Order of the Southern Cross, then the highest recognition granted by the South African Government (equivalent today to the Order of Mapungubwe www.wikipedia.co.za