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Go back to university this month for the creative whirlwind that is Wale 4.0, the fourth annual Wits Art and Literature Experience Festival.
WALE 4.0 will be “more enhanced and exquisite”, say organisers, with up to 75 shows taking place in less than a week.


Tawana KupeTawana Kupe, founder of WaleWale is the annual Wits Art and Literature Experience festival, and is now in its fourth year. It runs from 11 to 14 May.

This year’s programme includes a variety of performances and art activities, such as dance shows, theatre productions, musicals, music, films, exhibitions, workshops, poetry readings, debates as well as book related events.

According to Tawana Kupe, the founder and champion in chief of the festival, Wale is a celebration of the creative and intellectual energy that makes Wits University unique.

“The 2011 programme also features 15 guests, 27 student productions and 33 Wits staff and alumni offerings among its most comprehensive and diverse programme to date,” he says.

“Our new team has delivered an exceptional programme that really takes forward what we’ve built up over the past few years to create a significant arts event that makes Johannesburg a real cultural destination in May.”

The festival also gives developing artists a platform to showcase their talent.

“Wale has establish itself as a defiantly Wits festival and will always remain a highlight of the university’s calendar,” adds Jade Bowers, the artistic director of Wale 4.0.

Free concert
It begins with a free concert at the Great Hall Plaza on the university’s East Campus, featuring the Kwani Experience and Singata, among other acts.


Members of the band SingataMembers of the band SingataSingata was formed in September 2010. It consists of four members – Mojalefa Mofokeng, Yogin Sullaphen, Londiwe Langa and Bongile Zulu.

“Our music is more experimental Afro-soul with more world in it. Each member of the group brings their unique background to the music,” says Langa, the extrovert member.

“We are very young and still on the journey of discovery. Our music is nice, genuine and hyperactive type of music,” adds the more reserved Mofokeng.

A highlight of Wale 4.0 is Smoke and Mirrors, presented by the Forgotten Angle Theatre. It is directed by the award-winning choreographer, Athena Mazarakis. Tshwane Dance Theatre will also perform.

Planet B, a play directed by Helen Iskander, will run at the Nunnery on the East Campus, where it will be taking its audience on a trip to the year 2050 to give a glimpse of what it holds.

Sexetera, a collaboration between Wits School of Art, New York University and the Sibikwa Arts Centre, is directed by Sibikwa’s Phyllis Klotz. It will be performed in the art school atrium.

Among the arts heavyweights who will be performing is jazz musician Zim Ngqawana, who will close the festival on the high note on its last day.

On the film side of things, a screening and discussion of A Wale of a Time will be hosted by the Bioscope. It will be followed by Digital Storytelling; Taku Kaskela will give a presentation on Making a Film in One Day at the Appollonia.


Photgraphic exhibitionA photgraphic exhibition will be at the Downstairs Theatre FoyerThere will also be exhibitions: Thinking Women’s Worlds will be at the Downstairs Theatre Foyer, featuring the work of student photographers. It will explore the experiences of young women of life at Wits.

The festival will include various discussions and debates. For literature lovers, there will be a Book Fair, with launches and discussions. Booksellers and publishers will be on hand.

Two books – Stranger at Home by Ashlee Neser and Eating from One Pot by Sarah Motsoetsa – will be launched at Wale 4.0.

Wits students, their organisations, staff members, alumni and the faculties will open the festival with a parade from West Campus.

The festival’s performances are free, except for Planet B, Sexetera and Late Lunch, a production directed by Clara Vaughan. Tickets for these three shows are R66 per person. Bookings are through Strictly Tickets.

For the full programme and details of each event, visit the Wale website.

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