Ibuhlungu le ndawo

Theatre / Rhodes Box

Ibuhlungu le ndawo is the winning play by Sibongakonke Mama for 2022’s National Playwright Competition sponsored by Heineken Beverages. Written in English and isiXhosa, as well as in and through body, quiet, play and music, the piece is a poetic meditation on dis-ease, disease, alienation, home, belonging, lineage and inheritance.

In, and through, these simultaneously specific and universal themes, it asks questions of both intimate and national conditions. Its time is old and now, like a wound that is not yours alone even though it may be your body that it has colonised. It speaks to an old necessary dis-ease that has been humming, that is also now. Ibuhlungu le ndawo agitates the notions of home, its meaning; and its creative analogy comments on the relationship between (collective) memory and history as well as our many wounds and our societal wound.

This piece is directed by the esteemed Mandla Mbothwe.

Ibuhlungu le nddawo is produced by Sibongakonke Mama, Mud & Fire Parables and the National Arts Festival, South Africa with funding from Heineken Beverages as part of the National Playwright Competition sponsored by Heineken Beverages. Ibuhlungu le ndawo is supported by Gallery South and the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Centre for Theatre Dance
and Performance Studies.


Written by Sibongakonke Mama
Directed by Mandla Mbothwe

Chuma Sopotela – In-rehearsal director
Leigh Bishop – Costume design
Mandla Mbothwe – Set design
Lungi Cindi – Some set-making
Jennie Lee Crouse – Scenic painter, toy house builder
Mzokuthula Gasa – Choreographer
Buntu Tyali – Sound engineer
Sithembele Junior Qongqo – Process photographer
Robert Kieth – Process photographer

Performed by Chuma Sopotela, Indalo Stofile and Nasfa Ncanywa
Music by Siya Makuzeni
Lighting design by Bamanye Yeko

Artwork by Lisolomzi Pikoli

Ibuhlungu le nddawo is produced by Sibongakonke Mama, Mud & Fire Parables and the National Arts Festival, South Africa with funding from Heineken Beverages as part of the National Playwright Competition sponsored by Heineken Beverages. Ibuhlungu le ndawo is supported by Gallery South and the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Centre for Theatre Dance
and Performance Studies.


Sibongakonke Mama is a writer working in poetry and playwriting, and the 2022 Distell National Playwright. Her current writing interests are alienation, quiet, hybrid forms, and movement between the metaphysical and physical worlds. Her artistic practise is driven by a fascination with quiet, and a curiosity about how quiet in poetry and theatre can make place for the placeless; as well as how quiet can facilitate a homecoming for readers and audiences alienated from themselves. Sibongakonke is currently working on her debut poetry manuscript to be published in the near future. Her writing has appeared in New Coin, Nature is Louder, the Mail & Guardian and AmaBhungane. She holds an MA in Creative Writing and a BA in Journalism & Media Studies, Political & International Studies from Rhodes University, as well as a BA Hons in Journalism & Media Studies from the University of the Witwatersrand. She is also a cultural producer – she has worked with Thandi Ntuli, Feya Faku, Siya Makuzeni, Herbie Tsoaeli, Shane Cooper & MABUTA and Skyjack, and was the programme director for South Africa’s erstwhile top jazz club, The Orbit.

Mandla Mbothwe is a UCT Centre for Theatre Dance and Performance Studies Senior Lecturer, founder and Artistic Director of Mud and Fire Parables and Co-Artistic Director of Magnet Theatre. He is a multi-award-winning internationally acclaimed South African playwright, researcher, director, art teacher and theatre and performance maker, creative curator and arts practitioner who has been in the industry for over twenty years. Mandla has created and directed theatre productions of high quality, in South Africa and abroad, dealing with cultural and historical themes. He has conceptualized and curated multiple commissioned festivals, awards ceremonies and colloquiums. He is a published theatre scholar, having presented papers and public lectures on art and pedagogy. Some of Mandla’s noteworthy work includes Ingcwaba le ndoda lise cankwedlela (The grave of the man is next to the road), Ukutshona koMendi (The sinking of the Mendi), Biko’s Quest, G7: Okwe Bokhwe Biko-Rising, Ikrele leChiza…the sermon and Ezemiphefumlo..of the souls.

Siya Makuzeni is a professional trombone player, vocalist, lyricist and songwriter; British Council Artist-in-Residence/Commissioned Composer 2018; Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz 2016; and 2013 Mbokodo Award-winner for Women in Jazz. She has toured and performed around the globe, most notably in Italy where she contributed as co-composer and lyric interpreter to the soundtrack of Forse Dio e Malato (Maybe God is ill). Her live collaborations include performances with Lionel Loueke (National Arts Festival 2015), William Kentridge and Phillip Miller in Dancing with Dada featuring Dada Masilo (2011), Mac McKenzie & The Goema Captains, Tumi & The Volume, and Themba Mkhize & The SWR Big Band (Germany) to name a few. Siya’s most recent vocal features are on multiple-award-winning Liyana (Aaron & Amanda Koop), Phillip Noyce-directed ROOTS and Book of Negores TV adaptations. She has regularly collaborated with A-list South African musicians such as Themba Mkhize, Afrika Mkhize, Feya Faku, Andile Yenana, Khaya Mahlangu, Abigail Khubeka and Sibongile Khumalo. Between 2016 and 2017, Siya featured in the performances of Grammy award-winning artists David Murray, Jacky Terrasson and randford Marsalis. She is also the band leader of Siya Makuzeni Sextet, which she released her record Out of This World, and cross-over rock band IppYFuzE with which she released AmaXhentsa.

Nasfa Ncanywa is an interdisciplinary artist working in film, theatre and visual art. She studied Theatre and Performance at the Centre for Theatre, Dance and Performance at UCT (2019). Her work investigates the state of black personhoods in post-apartheid South Africa and the effects of a colonial past, looking specifically at the future of the black child in townships, rural areas and the CBD. Her work utilises sonic psychedelia and African imagery collages as interactive visuals in performance. As a performer, director and project manager, Nasfa has been involved in initiatives such as the Research Incubation project; Ubumbano, an anti-fascist hip-hop musical about migration; the Centre for Activist Education (2020); and Malibongwe Women in Theatre Festival with an adaptation of Monologues from the future. She has also been part of Woordfees US Artist week with Thetha/Talk/Praat which was later developed with Assitej (2021); as well as extracts of Mandla Mbothwe’s past productions which include Isivuno samaphupha, Ingcwaba lendoda lsecankwendlela and Inxeba Lomphilisi. In 2022 Nasfa was appointed assistant curator of the Malibongwe Women in Theatre Festival and she was selected for the Black Girl Live Fellowship by Manyano Media (2022). She is also vocally featured in the 2022 film Good Madam/Umlungu Wam directed by Jeana Bass and Babalwa Bartman.

Chuma Sopotela is an internationally renowned multi-award-winning actor, director, choreographer, performance artist and all-round collaborator. She is the Standard Bank Young Artist for Performance (2018) and KKNK’s Best Actress award-winner (2017). Her stage credits include Karoo Moose for which she received the 2007 Fleur du Cap Best Actress award, 2007 Aardklop Best Ensemble Cast award, and the 2008 Best Naledi Newcomer/Breakthrough and Best Ensemble awards. She also holds the 2008 Naledi Best Actress award and a Montreal English Theatre award for her performance in Waiting for the Barbarians. As a performance artist, Chuma received the Spier Contemporary Award for her collaboration in Unyawo Alunampumlo with Mwenya Kabwe and Kemang Wa Lehulere. She and Wa-Lehulere went on to create another performance work, I cut my skin to liberate the splinter (commissioned by the Performa festival in 2017), which won the Malcolm McLaren award. Chuma has since gone on to collaborate with architect Michelle Collis, performer John Cartwright and artists Buhlebezwe Siwani, Thabo Doni, Asanda Rilityana, Zanele Siko and Lusanda Dayimani. She has recently written the Opera work Amagokra for the Cape Town Opera and worked with Calvin Ratladi at William Kentridge’s The Centre for the Less Good Idea. Thereafter, she directed Ratladi in the solo work Digaruru at the Speilart Festival in Germany.

Indalo Stofile is an actress, writer and performance artist. She graduated with a degree in Theatre and Performance from UCT. Indalo has performed in Qondiswa James’s A Faint Patch of Light (which won a 2019 Standard Bank Ovation Award), and Nwabisa Plaatjie’s rendition of Alice Childress’s Florence & Wine in the Wilderness for which she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress and Best Lead respectively at the Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards (2020). She showcased an original performance art intervention on gender-based violence and femicide, Esemihla ngeMihla, curated with Chuma Sopotela, at the Malibongwe Women in Theatre Festival (2020). Most recently she has been in Nguvu Ya Mbegu, directed by Mandla Mbothwe and produced by the State Theatre; and Surviving Gaza (2022) a South African action-driven film by Vusi Africa.

Bamanye Yeko is a highly sought-after theatre technician specialising in lighting design andstage management. He honed his skills at the National Arts Festival where he worked as a venue technician from 2002 to 2019. He has worked as technical director at the Steve Biko Centre, the Centre for Creative Arts (UCT Hiddingh Campus), Johannesburg Art Fair, Dance PEI (Reunion Island), Makukhanye Art Room (Khayelitsha) and Theatre Arts Admin. He also worked as a stage manager at the Guild Theatre and Opera House. Over the years, Bamanye’s expertise have been called on for shows such as Biko’s Quest in Mozambique, Satisfaction Index in Zimbabwe, Ashed Tour in Switzerland and Germany, Sold in West Germany and Russia and a Lwanda Sindaphi show in France. Bamanye has also worked with award-winning thespians Jason Jacobs, Mandla Mbothwe and Chuma Sopotela, including touring France with Sopotela’s play, Inkukhu Ibeke Iqanda in 2021. In the same year, he was part of the lighting and technical team of the Fifa Arab Cup in Qatar. Bamanye also specialised in dance shows choreographed by Mzo Gasa,
Themba Mbuli, Jackie Manyaapelo, Makentosh and Yaseen at the Design Indaba. He has a national diploma in Speech and Drama (Lovedale College).

  • Venue: Rhodes Box
  • City: Makhanda
  • Location: The smaller theatre in the Rhodes Theatre Complex, on Prince Alfred Street.
  • Ticket Price: R85.00
  • Programme Type: CURATED PROGRAMME
  • Genre: Theatre
  • Duration: 80 mins
  • Ages: 7 +
  • Language: English & IsiXhosa
June 22, 2023   20:30 - 21:50
June 23, 2023   14:00 - 15:20
June 23, 2023   18:00 - 19:20
June 24, 2023   11:00 - 12:20