Access Denied


Access Denied is a film on three artists from Unmute Dance Theatre documenting the different challenges faced daily where Accessibility is concerned. Access Denied stems from the many challenges faced by individuals, particularly individuals living with disabilities, in a society that overlooks persons with disabilities and their need to move around freely and at their own independence without the assistance from another.

  • Ticket Price: R20.00
  • Genre: Dance
  • Duration (minutes): 20mins
  • Ages: All Ages
  • Language: English and Sign Language

You will only see a 30 second trailer of this content until the Release Date and Time listed above. At the designated time, the full content will become available for viewing at any time until 11th April.


Credits List: Concept by: Nadine Mckenzie
Filmed by: Themba Mbuli
Performers: Siphenathi Mayekiso, Andile Vellem, Nadine Mckenzie
Sound by: Andre Mario Smith
Edited by: Elijah Ndoumbe

Commissioned by the National Arts Festival 2021. With funds from the Presidential Stimulus Programme, Administered by the National Arts Council.


Nadine Mckenzie
Mckenzie is a qualified integrated dance teacher, receiving training at the ImpulsTanz International festival during workshops with Alito Alessi in Vienna in 2010. In 2006 she joined Remix Dance Company, since then she had produced exceptional work as a performer/ teacher in a wheelchair and has established herself as a well- recognized figure within the performing arts community both nationally and internationally.
In 2013 she was nominated for the Imbokodo Awards in the Dance category, she received a Tribute Award in the Arts and Culture Category and she was selected as one of the Mail and Guardian 200 Young South Africans, In 2018 she received an Imagine Award for her work she does as an artist living with a disability in South Africa. Mckenzie is one of the co- founders and Artistic Director of the inclusive dance company called Unmute Dance Company (UNMUTE) based in Cape Town South Africa. She has performed in company works namely, Unmute, Trapped, SOLD, Breaking Borders Ashed, Access Me and Longitude of Silence. She is also the co- curator of Unmutes annual ArtsAbility Festival. In the company she is also a performer, facilitator and aspiring choreographer.
Apart from being a member at UNMUTE, Mckenzie is also a freelance performer. She was featured in a Swiss production “One At A Time” by Alessandro Schiatarrella which premiered in Switzerland in September 2018.

Andile Vellem: Born and raised in Qumbu in the Eastern Cape, this performer was born a hearing person, at the age of 5 he suffered from a disease called mumps that took his hearing. Vellem began dancing at an early age inspired by his parents who were ballroom dancers, he started watching and coping Michael Jackson’s movements and entertained people in the community, Schools and even at the Churches.
Vellem’s professional development began in 1999/2000 at the Open Air School Hall in Durban; he later joined Tshwaragano – In-Touch Integrated Dance Project in 200/2001. His training includes Acting, Contemporary dance, Contact Improvisation, Improvisation. In the year 2000, he was introduced to Adam Benjamin, who was an artistic director of a well know integrated dance company in UK at that time. Adam choreographed “Querist’s Quire”, a production that involved performers on a wheelchair which was performed at The Dance Umbrella in Johannesburg, Artscape in Cape Town and The Royal Festival Hall in London UK. It is during this process where he developed more understanding, knowledge and passion for integrated works. In 2005 he worked as a full time performer at Remix Dance Company, here he got a platform to learn, work and collaborate in various production that toured nationally and internationally by different Choreographers/Directors; this includes works by Hellen Kaz (USA), Ina Mogane, Adam Benjamin, Mpho Mselela, Jay Pather , Jacqueline Dommisse and Tossie Van Tonder, Jaco Bouwer, Gerda Konig (Germany), Malcolm Black, Neo Moyanga and Ina Mogane, David Toole and Lucy Hinds (UK), Faniswa Yisa, Sharon M Watson and Mark Store (UK). Vellem has taught and lead workshops in different schools and colleges in the Western Cape and KZN, collaborated main streams schools and schools with special needs. He also collaborated with different artists, leading workshops at different schools and universities in America. He is one of the founder members of Mixibility Network of all the integrated dance companies.
Vellem is currently the Resident Choreographer and Dance Teacher for an Integrated Dance Company that he co-founded in 2013 (Unmute Dance Company); and Artistic Coordinators for Unmute ArtsAbility Festival. His recent Choreography “Unmute” has won him a Standard Bank Ovation award 2015 at the National Arts Festival. As a performer who is deaf, he continues to reach the community by teaching Sign Language and Sign Dance Technique (Dance Technique that he created) in Schools.

Siphenathi Mayekiso grew up in Philippi, Cape Town. He matriculated in 2009 and two years later he joined the Magnet Theatre Training Programme. In his years at Magnet he performed in shows like Running Away With A Gold Fish directed by Brink Scukts, an adaptation of Heart Of Redness original novel by Zakes Mda directed by Mark Fleishman and music by Neo Muyanga, he was also part of Magnet Theatre first creation for young audience called Tree Boom Umthi which toured more than four countries. After graduating in 2013 he joined the Garage Dance Company in Okiep for intense workshops under the tutelage of Alfred Hinkel. He then returned to Magnet to create his first solo show called Inkanuko. His solo show was performed in various festivals including the second year of the Unmute Arts Ability.
As a freelancer he did some puppetry work for UNIMA South Africa, facilitated workshops for the Magnet Theatre Culture Gangs Project, stage managed various productions and in 2016 he was in a short film Nommer 27, that scooped two awards in the Kyknet Festival, 2017 he was seen in Ebhofolo a short film by Poeleng Steward, In the same year he was in Marat Sadi directed by Jaco Bouwer. In 2019 he was part of Life In Esidimeni written by Luwanda Sindaphi and directed by Bulelani Mabutyana
As his dance career he joined Unmute Dance Company in 2015 as a trainee in inclusive dance. As a trainee he did works like #tag choreographed by Chuma Sopotela, Complications by Loiuse Cotzee. When he joined the company he did Dark Cell choreographed and directed by Themba Mbuli 2017, Unmute by Andile Velem 2016-2017. In 2019 he co-created a performance titled Trapped Man with Andile Vellem under the direction of Themba Mbuli which premiered in Mpumalanga as part of the My Body My Space festival. He also Choreographed a solo piece by the name of Bloodbath in direction of Themba Mbuli as well as performed in one of the companies repertoires named Ashed, both works were performed as Part of the NO LIMITS FESTIVAL in Berlin in November 2019.