It’s a beautiful, remarkable and inspirational story about a man known to all who did the seemingly impossible – destroy apartheid.
And while many of us are generally aware of Nelson Mandela’s achievements, the Australian production of Madiba the Musical offers an opportunity to experience his life story expressed through soul-stirring African dance, drama and song.
Coming to Canberra Theatre on 22-24 November, the acclaimed production includes renowned Canberran triple threat – actor/singer/dancer Tim Timomatic Omaji.
Omaji told Canberra Weekly his role, Sam, is deeply layered.
“He’s angry and violent through his activism and has to refocus that energy into his passion for peace and unity,” he said.
Omaji, while well known for his successful singing and dancing career, has forayed into acting over the past few years, including a leading role in a Sydney production of In the Heights earlier this year.
“I had done a production in 2010, but that was more dance focused; it’s really been that last few years that I’ve really been focusing on acting and taking on more dramatic roles.
“I love the challenge of acting, and telling stories through the medium of acting,” he said.
And the main challenge his role in Madiba has provided Omaji? That notoriously difficult South African accent.
“I love transforming, and I thought it was only right to do the character justice by going in and getting that accent as accurate as possible … and then using that through all the emotions.
“When you’re emotional you go to your default accent, so keeping in that voice is a real challenge for me.”
Omaji said he is looking forward to returning Canberra to perform; it was here where he decided to be a performer, so coming back is a confirmation for following his instincts.
“Canberra being quiet, compared to a place like Sydney or Melbourne, made me really focus on my craft … it touched my heart,” he said.
Madiba the Nelson Mandela Musical will be performed at Canberra Theatre from 22 to 24 November; canberratheatrecentre.com.au