Dear Tata: What Makes a Man a Man?

Music  /  Spoken Word  /  Theatre / Beethoven Room

This production is tells the story of many young black men in South Africa through a series of letters written to their fathers. Through dance, music and poignant story telling, this cabaret explores themes such as identity, self-worth and sexual liberation, but most importantly it poses the question, “what does it mean to be a black man in South Africa in this day and age?”


Written By: Mava Gqeba
Directed By: Sonwa Sakuba
Pianist: Tamsyn Turner


Mava Gqeba (25) is an Actor, Singer, Dancer, and Songwriter who now lives in Mdanstane, East London but is from Mgwali Village in Stutterheim. He is currently studying to obtain a Bachelor of Music Degree in Jazz Performance
from the University of Fort Hare and is a student apprentice teacher at the Sonwa Sakuba Institute of Performing Arts where he teaches music theory and music history and is currently training in Modern Dance as well as Tap Dance. Some of his theatre credits include; Seymour – Little Shop of Horrors, Baxter Theatre (2013), Rudolf – Hello Dolly, Baxter Theatre (2015), Life Is but a Cabaret, Galloway Theatre (2017), Afrika Sings! – Guild Theatre (2021), Umtiza Arts Festival (2022), National Arts Festival (2022), Reuben – Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, Guild Theatre (2021), All You Need Is Love – Guild Theatre (2022, 2023), Motown: A Celebration Of Motown, Guild Theatre (2022), Jackal and Wolf – Umtiza Festival (2022), National Arts Festival (2023), Agwe – Once on This Island, Guild Theatre (2022), Baxter Theatre Flipside (2022).

As an award winning dancer, actor, singer, choreographer, director, founder and artistic director of the Sonwa Sakuba Institute for the Performing Arts, Sonwa returns to South Africa with a wealth of knowledge and an eclectic array of international experience from productions and training programmes from around the world. Sonwa graduated from the highly acclaimed Waterfront Theatre School where he trained in Musical Theatre, Drama as well as Advanced levels in Modern Dance, Tap Dance, Classical Ballet and Jazz Dance. Sonwa also earned professional Modern Dance and Tap Dance teacher status from the internationally recognized Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (London). Upon graduation he went onto further his studies in New York City at the famous Broadway Dance Center, Alvin Ailey School and Martha Graham Center for Contemporary Dance. It is at the Martha Graham School where he was awarded a scholarship and worked as an intern for the Martha Graham Dance Company. Some of his New York credits include dance captain for the off-broadway production of Crybaby the Musical in 2018.

In theatrical and corporate stages both nationally and internationally he has performed in numerous productions such as ‘The Lion King’, ‘Hairspray’, Richard Lorings ‘African Footprint’, ‘A Chorus Line’, ‘Footloose’, Estée Lauder Product Launch, ‘West Side Story’, ‘Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat’, British Airways Commercial and ‘Guys
and Dolls’. His TV credits include playing a lead role on SABC2’s Hectic Nine9 youth show Signal High. As a director/choreographer, he has choreographed works for ‘Dancers Love Dogs’, Baxter Dance Festival, the Netflix series ‘Blood Drive’, EC Provincial Cultural Awards and stage productions of “Once On This Island’, “Afrika Sings”, “All You Need Is Love”, ‘The Jungle Book’, ‘Alladin’ and ‘I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change’ to name a few. As an artist that
strives for excellence in arts education and performance for all, in 2018 he was awarded Best Choreographer at the EC Cultural Awards as well as the Eastern Cape Department of Arts and Culture MEC’s Special Award for Performing Arts in 2020.

  • Venue: Beethoven Room
  • City: Makhanda
  • Location: First floor of the Rhodes Music Department, Somerset Street, Grahamstown, Makhanda, 6139.
  • Ticket Price: R80.00
  • Programme Type: FRINGE
  • Genre: Music  /  Spoken Word  /  Theatre
  • Duration: 60 mins
  • Ages: ALL AGES
  • Language: English
June 29, 2023   10:00 - 11:00
June 30, 2023   18:00 - 19:00
July 01, 2023   20:00 - 21:00