Author: Rod Amner

By STAFF REPORTER For winter, Makhanda’s Kelston Isuzu is collecting warm clothing and blankets for the Home of Joy, which looks after homeless children ranging from newborn babies to students. Sales manager Duifie Nieuwoudt appealed to residents to donate clothes and blankets to the Winter Warmers initiative by dropping them off at their premises in Hill Street. From there, the items will be distributed to the Home of Joy, Nieuwoudt said. The Makhanda haven is run by Nomalungelo Margaret Ngcangca, fondly known as ‘Mama Margaret’. She provides food and shelter for 33 people at her home in Joza and relies…

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THEATRE: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged): a new variantReview by KEREN BANZA If you love Shakespeare, you’ll love this show! If you hate Shakespeare, you’ll love this show! There really isn’t any other option. An exceptional trio of actors – Nita Allsopp, Gareth Pretorius and Bomber Webb – delivered a money-back-guaranteed full blast of pure laughter and snappy wordplay. Describing the trio as funny, entertaining or even flat-out hilarious would be scratching the surface of how phenomenal and well-executed the show was. The title is about as self-explanatory as it gets. All 37 of the Bard’s comedies, histories…

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CONCEPT PERFORMANCE: Passport blessing ceremonyReview by KEREN BANZA Passports hold power. Certain citizens can access any country with little to no hindrance. On the flip side, travelling is severely restricted for many others as their country’s passports hold little border power. Entering another country with a ‘weak’ passport often arouses suspicion and feels degrading.  Visa applications can be tricky. The piles and piles of documents, the interrogating interview, and the long waiting period for approval. And still, none of these fully guarantee you will even get that visa! All because your citizenship in one country has no value in the…

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By JENNA KRETZMANN Every year the National Arts Festival becomes a mad microcosm reflecting the state of our nation. And yes, this also happened during our two years of virtual engagement. Our artists, having absorbed all the collective issues, heartbreaks, frustrations, and joys, have cogitated and wrestled them into forms we can recognise, presenting them to us in ways that make us see them and ourselves from a different angle. Legendary for its diverse programme, the festival is a platform where freedom of expression is exercised, stretched, and celebrated. Our artists, battered and bruised – some of them broken -…

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By JONATHAN WALTON Jonathan Walton First and foremost, condolences to the parents, families and relatives of the twenty-one young girls and boys who tragically lost their young lives under questionable and unspeakable circumstances. The young girls and boys were children who did not deserve to be lost to society under questionable and unspeakable circumstances — May their Souls Rest in Eternal Peace. When the terrible news broke of the loss of young lives at the Enyobeni tavern, the whole country was shocked [i]. The news also reached the Washington Post in the USA[ii].  In another online thought-provoking news article[iii], it…

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MUSIC: Transbordamento  Review by KEREN BANZA  The Nun’s Chapel fills with the indigenous sounds of Africa – the umrhubhe mouthbow, nyunga-nyunga lamellophone, makhoyane gourd-resonated musical bow and the xivambi mouthbow. Transbordamento transcends musical borders, capturing the audience’s imagination; it asks them to open their minds to a numinous experience.  High ceiling, stained glass windows, and ancient wooden floors, the Nun’s Chapel, situated on Rhodes University’s St Peter’s campus, is a stronghold for the colonisation and Christianisation of the African soil. In this irony, the chapel begins to take new life and meaning as the vibrant African music rips through the white…

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COMEDY: Threedom of SpeechReview by KEREN BANZA  A mixed bag of chuckles and awkward silence. Some jokes hit, others miss – by a long way. Such is the world of comedy. The delivery, punchline, and energy in the room determine if the show has flavour or if it lands bland on the audience’s taste buds.  Threedom of Speech includes award-winning comedians Kagiso Mokgadi, Yaaseen Barnes, and Dalin Oliver, who are joined by guest comedians such as Jaryd Pillay, Kaashif Stellenboom, and JamJam. Each comedian brings their unique style to the stage, giving the show variation and flavour. There is a…

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THEATRE: The GraveReview by NONJABULO NTULI Like far, far too many young people in South Africa, Thabo Pusho, our protagonist in The Grave, never knew his father. His mother raises him in the chaotic, messy, clamorous township where distractions and temptations lurk on every corner. Yet his mother, desperately trying to give her son a chance at a better life, gets him into a former Model C school. But it takes more than exposure to a suburban environment to tame Thabo’s demons, which emerge from the black hole of not knowing his father. This is a hole his mother cannot…

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By SONIA SAJJABI “You don’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you come from. African values are held in their art forms,” says Geoffrey Tracey, the grandson of famed ethnomusicologist Hugh Tracey. Away but not detached from the National Arts Festival, the Festival of Circles brings together spirit, African music and culture to encourage people to reconnect with their roots. Often relegated to the past or seen as something to be ashamed of, Geoffrey Tracey believes these indigenous practices deserve to be celebrated.  In a tranquil and shaded garden on Fitzroy Street, he holds a creative space…

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THEATRE: Just different, not less Review by NONJABULO NTULI Worried new parents argue and converse about their child’s unusual behaviour. While the father thinks the child should go to the villages, the mother wants to take their son to a specialist. Directors Yanga Mabetshe and Malibongwe Madyo raise awareness about autism through their eye-opening theatrical play, Just Different, Not Less, a story inspired by JR Nkosi, an autistic self-taught pianist. After the parents find out that their son is autistic, the doctor tells them stories of other autistic children he has come across. Just Different, Not Less entertains and educates the…

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