Johannesburg - Actress Refilwe Maitisa took third place at the Africa Monologue Challenge finale in Accra, Ghana.
Maitisa was among 11 finalists who battled it out at the Accra National Theatre for a grand prize, which included a lead role in a film and being the face of the next edition of the Africa Monologue Challenge.
Maitisa, from Johannesburg, is known for her role as young Lu in the movie Zulu Wedding. In 2019, she appeared in the off-Broadway production of the musical Humanity’s Child in New York.
She is a trained actress who earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama (summa cum laude) in 2021 as the top student from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles, California, awarded her an associate degree in theatre as well.
The Africa Monologue Challenge is an initiative by Mawuko Kuadzi in collaboration with the African Chamber of Content Producers and the Ghanaian National Film Authority, launched on April 5, 2022.
African actors were brought together by the contest in an effort to promote continental talent. It is intended to elevate both established and up-and-coming African performers to the level of Hollywood performers while strategically positioning them for international opportunities.
At the finale, contestants from South Africa, Uganda, Zambia, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Cameroon, Ghana and the UK each presented three monologues.
The evening was opened with a play called The Slaves, written by renowned Ghanaian playwright Dr Mohammed ben-Abdullah and performed by all contestants.
Maitisa, who played the role of Ayanda, a slave and a warrior, said: “It was an incredible experience to perform an African story with 10 actors from different countries who had only a few days to rehearse, and everyone was amazing.”
The top three in the challenge will star in the first pan-African film, where the winner, Rachael Nduhukire of Uganda, will play the leading role, and first runner-up Jeromy Mumba of Zambia and second runner-up Maitisa will play the supporting roles.
“It was an honour representing South Africa on an international stage and having the opportunity to share what makes my country special,” said Maitisa.
“The Africa Monologue Challenge is a great platform to showcase one’s talent, to encourage collaborations in the African film industry, and to help grow film and theatre audiences on our continent.”