A spiritual black tax – the sins and gifts of those from the past shall be passed on to those in the present. Mafungwashe, the protagonist, finds herself indebted to her two grandmothers who present themselves as both living and spiritual beings. These grandmothers are at odds with one another – yin and yang – and play a tug of war, all while using Mafungwashe as a vessel to store their strength and to share their life stories.

We see Mafungwashe navigate the payment of her debts by taking care of her ill father, confronting an oppressive education system and of course, connecting with the two matriarchs through visions, dreams, and memory. However, this is only an attempt to pay off the tax – the full cost might be her life.

  • Ticket Price: R40.00
  • Genre: Theatre
  • Duration (minutes): 50mins
  • Release Date: July 16, 2021 09:30 - August 31, 2021 23:59
  • Language: isiXhosa & English



Written and directed by Siyabulela Javu

Hlumela Mpiti
Loyiso Kosana
Matshawandile Kopele
Nande Siko
Nanza Platana
Thumamna Sibhozo


She who is rooted in stories of revolution and healing: Siyabulela Javu is a triple major Humanities post-graduate who is currently studying towards her Master’s degree in Drama at Rhodes University. She has performed in previous National Arts Festival productions: Standard Bank Silver Ovation Award-winning work, Bayephi, directed by Thembela Madliki (2017), Best ensemble award-winning student production, Seeing Red, directed by Mmatumisang Motsisi (2018) and, Skinned directed by Siph’esihle Ndaba (2018).

Born in the Eastern Cape, Siyabulela is a storyteller who expresses herself through writing, directing, acting, and spoken word/song. A healer, she acknowledges that Akahambi Yedwa; she walks with those from the past, who hold the present and are a compass for the future. This is reflected in all her expressions of Art which she calls ‘iCamagu’ – a manifestation of light (in darkness) and life.