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WHAT: "My Life, My Voice"

WHEN: Tonight through Oct. 15

WHERE: Ujima Theatre, 545 Elmwood Ave.

ADMISSION: $15 to $18

INFO: 882-0954 or 881-3266

Eager Artists, a South African theater group, will present the life of Patti Nokwe, an opera-trained singer living under the oppressive laws of the apartheid government. Nokwe was born in Zululand, KwasZulu-Natal, South Africa, and was sent at age 12 to live with a family in the city of Durban. There, she was treated as a virtual slave. During the day she sold food on the city streets, in the mines and bars and then in the evening sang on television and radio. A teacher of Italian opera named Madam Davia recognized the young woman's extraordinary talent and took her under her wing, teaching her the riches of the Italian repertory. In this production of "My Voice, My Life," sponsored by Ujima Theatre in association with Arts in Education and Langston Hughes Institute, Nokwe's story will be told through song, Zula dance and drums and theater performed by a troupe of six artists. Eager Artists was founded in 1993 by Jerry Pooe, whose own difficult life as a youth living in Durban parallels Nokwe's.

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