Noah’s Ark is a story about the bonds of love that bind a family, and the secrets that threaten to destroy it. In Noah’s ark, the struggle shifted from the political to the personal for our protagonist, Moses Mokoena – an expat, former activist who has since become a successful doctor with a successful psychotherapist wife and successful over-achieving daughters. But what lies on the surface doesn’t always mirror what lies beneath…
Moses (50) and Linda (48) have a good life together. However, without realizing it, they have drifted apart. They are both very focused on their careers and don’t really make time for each other. Caught up in their own lives and problems they both think that their two daughters are fine. Meanwhile they’re not: Uhuru (28) suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after she has been hijacked and finds it hard to connect with people. Grace (18) leads a double life – during the day she volunteers at a shelter for street children. At night she is the party girl, getting more and more involved with drugs.
And the parents aren’t fairing much better. Linda, the composed psychotherapist, is harbouring a secret from her
family, that she has been diagnosed with cancer. And Moses harbours a secret attachment to the first woman he ever loved, a young Afrikaans girl by the name of Ilse Crawford. Linda doesn’t know anything about Ilse, their shared past or the fact that Moses still thinks of her from time to time. And Moses doesn’t know that when he left South Africa all those years ago, Ilse was six weeks pregnant with his son.
Noah’s Ark is relevant today, because it tells the story of how South African families are redefining their lives within an ever-changing, sweet-and-sour post-apartheid South Africa. Once the political struggle was won, many South African families didn’t know how to live in peace. Moses and his wife are on the verge of divorce, but they still love each other. His two daughters find themselves lost in a new South Africa of seemingly endless opportunities and Noah, his lost son, is in search of an identity that he never knew was his. And through this all, Noah’s character is the metaphor of the power of family love and his symbolic ‘Ark’ represents family, starting over, dreams, hopes, the past, the future and, finally the promise. Through six strong lead characters, Noah’s Ark explores dramatic issues that many South African families face; issues of grieving, of midlife crises, of hopelessness and of the hope that shines strong through even the darkest times.