Woza Albert! is a satirical political play co-authored by Percy Mtwa, Mbongeni Ngema, and Barney Simon. The plot is set in the 1980s in Johannesburg, South Africa. The play was first produced in 1981 at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg, South Africa, and it was subsequently published in 1983.
The principal characters in Woza Albert! are Percy Mtwa and Mbongeni Ngema (the coauthors of the play), Morena, and the Interviewer.
Read Also: Analysis of “Woza Albert!”
Percy Mtwa and Mbongeni Ngema
These coauthors of the play are central to the performance. They play themselves but also take on various character roles within the play. Their ability to seamlessly transition between different characters highlights their talent as actors and playwrights.
Morena serves as the black Savior in Woza Albert!, and while he is a central character, he is represented only by a voice. Morena’s character embodies hope and resistance against apartheid. The play parallels Morena with the biblical Jesus, emphasizing his role as a symbol of change and salvation. He represents the oppressed black population in South Africa during apartheid.
The Interviewer is another character represented only by a voice. This character acts as a reporter covering Morena’s impending arrival. The Interviewer’s presence allows for the inclusion of different perspectives and voices within the narrative, providing insights into the reactions and expectations of South Africans regarding Morena.
Albert is a character who is summoned but never actually appears in the play. He represents the hope for change and the potential for unity and resistance among the oppressed population. This character alludes to a respectable former South African black leader, Albert Luthuli.