Seitu’s World: The Uptown Powerful Play Mandella By John Ruiz Hits Downtown

On Tuesday, August 8th, 2023, Harlem photojournalist Seitu Oronde captured scenes from downtown New York City.

At the Actor’s Theater located at 314 West 54th Street, the play “Mandela” offered a remarkable portrayal of Mr. Mandela’s life and his evolution into activism through the African National Congress (ANC).

The play delved into his connection with Winnie Mandela, the challenges faced during his imprisonment, and a touching narrative of a prison guard who clandestinely conveyed news and notes from Winnie. It also highlighted his journey to becoming South Africa’s president and his ongoing endeavors until his passing in 2013. Furthermore, the play drew parallels between apartheid in South Africa and segregation in the United States.

Although never met Harlem‘s Malcolm X, Mr. Mandela embraced some of his principles, notably the “by any means necessary” approach to achieving goals, mirroring the fight against apartheid.

With its dynamic storytelling and thought-provoking insights, this play sheds light on shared struggles during the 1940s, ’50s, and ’60s—highlighting white supremacy and racism in both South Africa and America. Watching this play comes highly recommended.

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Click here to find more of Seitu Oronde’s photo essays at Seitu’s World.

Photo credit: 1-5) Seitu Oronde.

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