Play sheds light on inner-city housing crisis

Kwa’Mnyamandawo

Kwa’Mnyamandawo, the latest new work by Kwasha! The 7th Theatre Company, homed at The Windybrow Arts Centre, is making its way to The Market Theatre Foundation’s Ramolao Makhene Theatre for a short run. The devised work excavates the challenges within the inner city.

Kwa’Mnyamandawo is told through the eyes of an eager and zealous junior investigative reporter who, concerned by the housing crisis and other social ills in Hillbrow decides to utilise her skillset to get to the bottom of what is going on. What she discovers not only shocks her but makes her realise the extent to which corrupt police officers and public officials utilize abandoned buildings systematically to trade illegal goods and substances. Working with a local tour guide, she is able to enter ‘intimate’ yet somewhat dangerous public spaces which would normally not be accepting of her presence. In so doing, she sees first-hand how rough and tough the streets and surrounds of the inner city Hillbrow are, learning what it takes for those to survive in a place they have no choice but to call home.

As a socially focused play, Kwa’Mnyamandawo offers insights into the lives of those who live on the margins of society, excluded from meaningful participation in civic activities and who are all but forgotten by mainstream society. The occupants navigate their existence in crowded spaces which offer little to no room for children to play or for healthy social activities. The production not only highlights the plight of inner-city residents whose lives are characterized by rampant crime and harsh living conditions, but it also serves as a powerful indictment on public officials who have allowed these things to happen.

The dynamic production is brought onto the stage by Kwasha! The 7th Theatre Company which was established in 2018 as a collaboration between the Market Theatre Laboratory and the Windybrow Arts Centre. This reparatory system of making theatre has over its several years of existence provided a brilliant home for new, emerging talent. It is a space for entry-level professional theatre-makers to experiment, grow, develop, harness and sharpen their skills as they embark on a career in the world of theatre performance.

In its six previous iterations, Kwasha! Theatre Company has showcased devised and innovative productions as well as several adaptations at spaces such as the National Arts Festival (NAF) and internationally. Three of those productions won much sought after and highly competitive Standard Bank Ovation Awards. These were The Little Prince, which won in 2018, and Currently (G)old and Rhinocerus which both won in the NAF 2019 edition.

After their one year with Kwasha!, several actors from the company have been cast into different productions and have enjoyed work at theatre houses in various roles. This is testament to the robust, relevant and cutting-edge sharpening of their skill through their enriching time as part of this programme.

Devised by the Kwasha! The 7th Theatre Company cast, Kwa’Mnyamandawo has Thabang Chauke as the director, Joel Leonard as mentor with costume and set design by Chloe Wittstock.

Be the first to catch this original production at the Ramolao Makhene Theatre at The Market Square in Newtown from 18 to 21 July for four performances only.


For reduced price block bookings (of 10 or more) and school groups, contact Anthony Ezeoke (Audience Development) at AnthonyE@markettheatre.co.za or 083 246 4950 or Mamello Khomongoe mamellok@markettheatre.co.za 081 572 9612.


For media enquiries please contact Lusanda Zokufa (Brand and Communication Manager at the Market Theatre Foundation) at lusandaz@marketheatre.co.za or 011 832 1641 or 072 367 7867.


Sannah Mabokela
sannahm@markettheatre.co.za
011 832 1641
The Market Theatre Foundation
https://markettheatre.co.za/