An exciting new wave of theatre is moving into townships and it will change the way Mzansi perceives the arts scene.
Writer, performer and director Jefferson Tshabalala is currently shaking up the local theatre scene and he is shining the spotlight on township arts.
“I never understood why we should travel from our townships to the city and ‘posh’ suburbs to watch theatre when there exists an invigorating arts scene as well as professionally run theatre facilities in the townships,” says Tshabalala.
Tshabalala insists it's time theatregoers experience theatre in "lokasie".
“Why not bring the productions to the township theatre venues?! This is where a large majority of our theatre audiences can be found so it is imperative we bring the theatre circuit to them,” Tshabalala says.
Hence Kiri Goes Kasi, an umbrella project which Tshabalala and his theatre production company Kiri Pink Nob, in partnership with Ntshieng, intends on continuing as a new township arts tradition.
They will kick off with Tshabalala’s aptly titled Location / Lekeyshini / Lokasie on 1 September. “With this production we hope to provide some context to the new age of South African township theatre,” he says.
Tshabalala creates exciting works across the spectrum. He has been known to produce classic drama pieces to hard-hitting hip-hop theatre and sketches voicing relevant issues of today.
He received a nomination at the 2014 Naledi Theatre Awards for Best Emerging Voice. And his theatre production Secret Ballot was nominated at the 2015 Naledi Awards for Best Ensemble production.
Many South Africans know Tshabalala for his J.BHOBOZA! sketch personality who has appeared alongside Pule as a host of the 2012, 2013 and 2014 South African Hip-Hop Awards, and as Vignettes Director for the 2015 Instalment, featuring Sies Ribs Cracker, The Daddies of Sugar, and The Nyaope Boys Banned.
He hosted the events DFL Lover and Another Poetry Challenge for 4 years in a row, between 2010 and 2014. J.BHOBOZA! has also appeared in Vusumuzi Phakathi’s Poetry in Performance play, The Battle of The Ages and, in Pule and Nigel’s 31 Seconds Challenge.
Another of his sketch personalities, J.BAMBAKLOT!, appeared alongside Bauws Lady in Back to The Verse’s version of All Hail Her Majesty. Tshabalala himself did a stint in Boom Bap vs. Swag Rap 1 and 2 as well as in BroTwerkersSA directed by Rethabile Mothobi. In fact, the A Farsenating Blackfarse sketch, directed by Pusetso Thibedi, was written by Tshabalala.
The acclaimed political protest farce, Secret Ballot, is his most recent work, which he wrote and directed. Currently, his new works, The Black-Toe-Mime and Boy-Banned, are in pre-production and fans can look forward to his move into musical sketches and game shows.
Catch Location | Lekeyshini | Lokasie at the Olive Tree Theatre in Alexandra.
Ticket without Transport
Pick up: Joburg Theatre foyer
Time: 1 pm
Price: R100 pp includes transport, tickets, lunch and a drink
Ticket without Transport
Time: 2 pm
Price: R70 pp includes ticket, lunch and a drink