A scene from the show XOVA. Picture: supplied

Pretoria - The South African State Theatre is basking in the glory of success after one of its productions bagged a prestigious award.  

XOVA, which brings to stage endured hardships of solo parenthood and father absenteeism, scooped the Standard Bank Gold Ovation Award for its showcase at the National Arts Festival in Makhanda last week.

The performance art piece written and directed by Joseph Komani topped the festival’s fringe programme which was made up of hundreds of productions across theatre, family fare, comedy, illusion, dance, contemporary music among others. 

The theatre’s CEO Dr Sibongiseni Mkhize congratulated the team.

“The council and management of the State Theatre are delighted about this honour that was bestowed on XOVA. 

"The Gold award is testament to this theatre’s unwavering commitment to nurturing South African theatrical talent as part of embracing its pan-African identity. 

"The theatre’s perseverance and determination to continue to become a space for young people to creatively express themselves has been rewarded. 

"Congratulations to the cast of XOVA and everyone who has been involved in the process of making this success possible,” he said.  

The awards celebrate artistic innovation, excellence, the exploration of new performance styles and the courage to open new conversations at the festival.

The elated director said: “It was a very tough journey. It is also an achievement to have performers who fully understand the vision, because when it comes to such show, you really must channel everyone in the same direction which is winning. 

"I also feel that it was an achievement to tell an African story with a language such as Xhosa and have different audience understanding the story without using any projection of interpretation.”

XOVA - “Ukuxova,” a Xhosa word denoting the mixing of dough for baking - is a metaphor used for the process of raising a child in the show.

The show returns to the State Theatre from 17 to 30 September.

It is presented in collaboration with The Ozone Fellas production company.

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