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24 Year Old Creates Provocative Theatre Production Titled Ninah

provocative theatre
By Katlego Chale
Fresh out of the TUT Drama Department, graduate Sthandile Nkosi (25) has chosen to embrace the challenging South African theatre and film industries as an actress, model, writer and director. Contracted to Just You agency, Nkosi has managed to hit the ground running with a recent casting on MTV’s Shuga, including adverts for McDonalds, South African Tourism and the Nedbank Cup currently on air in South Africa.

Nkosi also holds the position of Director and Scriptwriter at Hidden Cliff – her own production company, which took her first production of Ninah to several stages including the South African State Theatre and the National Arts Festical in Makhanda, Eastern Cape. This project was done in collaboration with the South African Theatre Village. Nkosi elaborates on what inspired her to create Ninah:

“In drama school, we were taught pages and pages of Western drama… and we would find that there would only be a page on African theatre [in a book of 500 pages], and this often made me question why this was so.

Because I imagined how many stories Africa has to tell and how much [in terms of] culture the world could learn from Africa…

In my third and fourth years… I directed Absurd plays… so I believed that what I knew about Absurd Theatre, I needed to learn just as much and more about African Theatre… Ninah was born in a time when women were walking targets… it felt unsafe to be a black woman. Ninah was inspired by the interviews of the Chibok girls, particularly those who had returned.”

Nkosi believes in the power of making relevant and timeless work that has the possibility of giving a message of urgency to African peoples. Ninah suggests that it is time for African people and women in particular to regroup. “We are in a state of emergency,” exhales Nkosi, “where women are being killed, harmed”.

Ninah makes a clarion call for women in particular and black people in general to stand together and fight back against those who have taken from us for so long.

The play is set in a cave and looks to rely on African storytelling narrative techniques, with elements of physical theatre.

Through collaboration that relies on a scripted narrative, Nkosi and her collaborators, Mpho Ngoepe (24) and Mimi Mamabolo (28) engage the work as if putting together a puzzle.

“I invited everyone to jump in… so that we create a work that is timeless, but also that has a strong statement,” added Nkosi.

Ninah calls for four things:

First, for a woman to know that she possesses gold within her and realize that she is a goddess.

Second, for the children of Africa to stop fighting between themselves and unite as children of the same mother protecting the gems, naturally located in their homes.

Third, for society to realize that the cruelty against women could lead to the end of our generation.

Fourth, for African people to become aware of the urgency needed for us to reclaim our identities.

 

Also by Katlego Chale:

A Letter To My 23 Year Old Self

South African Development Community (SADC): Evolving Theatre in SA

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