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Brilliance of Can Themba to be showcased at Soweto Theatre Print E-mail
08 May 2017

Soweto Theatre in Jabulani has a mouth-watering line-up of plays and a top-drawer fashion offering on its entertainment programme this month.

The programme kicks off with the staging of Athol Fugard’s My Children! My Africa! on Tuesday May 9 and reaches its climax with the hosting of the Soweto Fashion Week from Wednesday May 24.

The audiences will no doubt be enthralled by the highly talented Sello Maake kaNcube in Siphiwo Mahala’s The House of Truth, a theatre masterpiece that honours one of South Africa’s distinguished writers, Can Themba.

The play, directed by Vanessa Cooke, premiered to full houses and rave reviews at the 2016 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown before moving to the Market Theatre. It will be staged at Soweto Theatre from Wednesday May 10 to Sunday May 21.

Laced with wit, humour and a deep sense of irony, the play reveals what inspired some of Themba’s most intriguing works and covers some profound aspects of his life that are rarely written about.

Themba’s complex life story would be incomplete without shedding a light on the troubles he had with the apartheid Transvaal Department of Education, which refused to recognise him as a qualified teacher despite his having a degree.

He then found refuge in journalism, rising through the ranks of Drum magazine to become an assistant editor. Themba’s frustrations are shared from his home, nicknamed The House of Truth, a single-room bachelor flat in Sophiatown in the 1950s. Themba, who died aged 43 on September 8 1967, would have turned 93 this year.

Maake kaNcube will be performing for the first time at Soweto Theatre.

“The House of Truth celebrates South African artistic excellence. It will inspire Sowetans, young and old alike,” says Joburg City Theatres Artistic Manager Makhaola Ndebele.

Tickets cost R120 per person and discounts are available for block bookings.

Fugard’s My Children! My Africa! runs until Sunday May 21. It is a story about generational conflict over the most effective ways of ending apartheid. This leads to an explosive confrontation between a gifted but impatient township youth and his devoted but “old-fashioned” teacher. 

The unexpected involvement of a young white woman, whom he befriends and learns from, strips away the political trappings to reveal the human trauma at the heart of South Africa’s tragedy.

Tickets cost R80 for students and R100 for adults.

Running from Wednesday May 10 to Sunday May 14 is The Kids from Amandla Street, a play about four children – Obi, Jimmy, Palesa and Lillian – who grapple with issues of identity, school, distanced parents and the desires to see the completion of the street. It is a story about friendship and survival against all odds.

Tickets are available at R80 for the general public, R50 for students and R30 for group bookings.

All things fashion will be the rage during the Soweto Fashion Week, between Wednesday May 24 and Sunday May 28, when Soweto Theatre showcases autumn-winter collections.

This annual event is a platform for brands and already established designers to showcase what they have for winter. Founded by Stephen Manzini, it promotes talented African designers on a global scale. 

Shows start at 7pm and tickets cost R80 per person.

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Last Updated on 15 May 2017