Marangrang-Chaos In Bechuanaland

The play opens with a pitso (gathering) where King Kgodungwe addresses the tribe about his successor should he pass on. He speaks of the spirit of ubuntu and encourages unity amongst his sons and the entire tribe. 


But Mmadira and other chieftains oppose the King's ideas of a successor. She wants her son to carry the spear of the nation as she regards Rantsope as a valueless, slow thinker and too polite to be king. It was believed then that kings should be aggressive and strong in order to protect the village. 


Mmadira’s son, Marumo, is recognised as the bravest as he has already killed a leopard and deserves to wear its skin. But not all villagers support the ideology of Mmadira. According to tradition, the first born should be the one to take over the throne. Rules are rules at the palace and should be respected as a legacy of their predecessors. 


The argument continues with no solution in sight, until the King dies. Marangrang becomes effective when Mmadira consults an evil witchdoctor and turns events in the wrong direction. The tribe starts to divide as others oppose the rule of Rantsope. The influence of Mmadira is strengthened with the help of filthy chieftains and of course the evil witchdoctor who together encourage the conflict. When Rantsope is alerted of plans to assassinate him, he goes into exile.


Marumo finally became a king of Bechuana. He ruled the nation with an iron fist. The nation feared his ruthlessness. All who stood against him were banished, brutally murdered, or punished to hard labour in the fields and chained. Others ran away to neighbouring villages, but their freedom was short-lived, as Marumo attacked and conquered the surrounding villages. By annexing them, he increased the numbers of his warriors. Those in exile were welcomed by other tribes. With the help of King Lazu, they finally met and prepared to return and dethrone Marumo.


Back in Bechuanaland, Marumo was engaged in a verbal war with his evil witchdoctor who eventually cursed him. The exiles returned and conquered, claiming back their freedom and land. Marumo blames his mother for everything. 


The truth is revealed that an affair between the king’s adviser and Mmadira led to Marumo’s birth. Finally Mmadira stabbed herself, ashamed to have divided the tribe which used to live in peace and joy.


Rantshope forgives and reconciles with Marumo and his followers, and urges the tribe to move forward to rebuild the troubled village. Glory is restored when Rantshope is inaugurated with Marumo at his side.


All characters' names in the play are fictitious as we don’t want to harm any individual, political parties or ethnicities. The name Bechuana will be used to identify the tribe. The setting is an old village of Bechuana under the regime of Kgosi Kgodungwe. As kings are polygamists, he had two wives. Each wife bore a boy. The first wife ,Tumisang, gave birth to Rantshope, the first born of the king. Mmadira, the second wife, gave birth to a second boy Marumo. Unfortunately Tumisang passed on leaving Rantshope in his early 20s. As the story unfolds it is discovered that Marumo is the child of adultery.


Production Credits

Bogosi Bolokwe - Writer

Stanley Letebele - Director

About the Artists

Bogosi K Bolokwe is a writer, director, lighting and set designer, technical consultant and producer who explores issues drawn from the diversity of our own cultures across the social spectrum, presented in the discipline of performing arts. With experience in cultural activities and vast technical experience, many youth developed an interest in joining him when he established the Cultural Institute in Performing Arts. Within a few years the group had 42 members in total.


He expanded to include additional Arts disciplines in the form of poetry, storytelling, drama and diverse cultural dances of South Africa. He also focused on skill development in the performing arts, technical opportunities and workshops.


His shows are performed throughout the world and on local soil across provinces at both corporate events, different Government institutions and in Mainstream Theatres.


To date he has trained hundreds of artists who are featured in different productions around the world as well as theatre technicians. He continues to nurture new talent each year, both artistically and technically.

  • Programme type: vFringe
  • Genre: Theatre
  • Duration: 70mins
  • Ages: ALL AGES
    • Academic or Professional Content
    • Suitable for All Ages
June 23, 2024 12:00 - July 31, 23:59