Born into poverty in Vryheid, Ezekiel Dlamini moved to Sophiatown in an attempt to escape the bitter conditions a is father’s physical abuse.
The protagonist was instantly attracted to the shining lights and freedom that township life offered. He contemplates returning home a few times but the freedom and excitement that the city offers have a too strong hold on him. He soon becomes a national boxing legend and gets the nickname ‘King Kong’ because of his amazing size and strength.
In Sophiatown, Dlamini faces tough choices and even tougher consequences, including meeting and falling in love with the beautiful (and innocent) Maria Miya.
As King Kong, he’s king of the hill. As Dlamini, he is a strange and proud man who almost never loses a fight, but his inability to accept defeat with grace leads him down the path to gang violence and drunkenness. He kills three people, including Maria— who he believes is unfaithful and wants to have him killed.
It’s obvious what’s coming next: arrest; trial; and conviction to jail and hard labour. Worse, his body is found one morning in the yard dam—with speculation rife that he has taken his life.
This musical is brilliant in every way. It is a story of deception, greed, murder and ultimately hope. The performance is exciting and is guaranteed to leave viewers with the goose bumps. It is, however, recommended for a more mature audience.