Is it a coincidence to have only two nominees under the same category and the judges give them both the accolades because they can’t judge who the best is?
Well, for Ronald “Madolax” Sigeca and his partner in theatre Cadrick “Keke” Msongelwa who were both nominated under the Best Theatre Actor at this year’s Roil Bulawayo Arts Awards, the scenario is not a dream.
Both fine theatre performers were awarded the gongs for that category each after the judges in the panel for the prestigious awards failed to choose the winner as they are equally brilliant.
With both having a background of grooming from the Nhimbe Trust mentored by Bulawayo’s fine theatre hands like Raisedon Baya, Memory Kumbota, Nkululeko Nkala, to mention a few, Keke and Madolax developed a stage chemistry which has resulted in their success today.
Theatre is not a walk in the park; it requires strength, calculated body movements which generate meaning, attractive and communicative gestures that can spark feelings to the audience.
Both stellar performers have all the above qualities. As if that is not enough, they have an immaculate strength to balance a 45-minute play with only two of them on the stage non-stop.
Their 2018 theatre production titled Zandezi catapulted them to fame and it afforded them a National Arts Merit Awards nomination early this year. At the 2019 RoilBAA it was awarded for Best Outstanding Theatre Production and Best Outstanding Theatre Actors.
Zandezi is a slang name which suggests a prison, the storyline of the play advocates for justice in a prison set-up asking various questions like, is a prison really a rehabilitation centre or it actually creates hardcore criminals out of innocent inmates?
It was created and devised by both the actors and directed by Lloyd Matsa, in the process Leonard Nyikadzino was the script consultant.
With such a brilliant piece of the stage, Madolax revealed that he decided to work with Keke on the play because they understand each other on the stage and they have a chemistry that results in a polished performance.
“Zandezi is a two-men play but playing multiple characters. I decided to work with Keke because he is an amazing performer with immaculate work ethic, he always pushes me to go beyond the limits and this makes both of us bring our all when performing,” said Madolax.
The Zandezi play is not the only joint theatre piece that the two worked on together, they have also worked on The Mystery and In the Cells.
They also both worked with other actors on Breathing Graves, Gardens Of Dreams, My Zimbabwe, to mention a few.
With a number of plays that they worked as a two-man cast, it raises a question whether the two are theatre twins?
Keke revealed that most theatre fanatics have always referred to them as twins because of their joint performances.
“We are theatre twins because we are both good so the audience says, this has led us to give it our all to our co-productions.
“As such, at the RoilBAA the judges couldn’t find who the best between us is, a sign that when we work together we create a massive theatre force,” said Keke.
Meanwhile, apart from theatre Madolax is an inspiring musician and he revealed that people will start to know him from the musical angle early next year as he will launch an album in 2020.
As for Keke, he is employed in Harare with Patsimeredu Edutainment Trust under the Jasen Mphepho Little theatre as an actor and development worker.
He is supposed to commence his studies in Physical Theatre at Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre in Blue Lake, California.
He is looking for assistance from well wishers and potential sponsors to fund his education as he is supposed to travel on 26 September.