Xolisile Bongwana

  • Ticket Price: R40.00
  • Duration: 44mins
  • Age Recommendation: All Ages
  • Genre: Dance
  • Language: IsiXhosa

‘Mnquma’ – in quest of intersecting narratives to connect with our roots – ‘Bayasibiza’

Original Concept: Initial discussions held between Xolisile Bongwana and David April were to uncover their personal narratives and to explore where they intersected as far as dealing with their totems, connecting with their cultural roots in order to trace and have a deeper understanding of the past in order to have a clear sense of the future. The piece has now subsequently evolved into Bongwana delving into his personal journey and truly connecting with his ancestry. The movement aesthetic of the overall production borrows from both Bongwana and April’s cultural backgrounds, that is, traditional Xhosa and Tswana dance forms. Mnquma is strongly married with original music compositions by Bongwana and No-Finish, a traditional Xhosa musician who achieved much recognition throughout her lifetime and regarded as the master of ‘uhadi’ music.

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Performer: Xolisile Bongwana

Choreography: Xolisile Bongwana & David April

Direction: Katleho Sekhosana

Lighting Technician Music: Original compositions by No-Finish Dywili, Xolisile Bongwana & Elvis Sibeko

Sound Engineer: Zain Vally

Technician (Light & Sound): Emil Lars

Text: Katleho Sekhosana

Supporting text and narrative: Xolisile Bongwana

Costumes: Lebo MerryK and Sinta Spector

Acknowledgement: The work was incubated at the The Centre for the Less Good Idea

Sound Technician by Mandisa Hope Vilakazi

Stage Manager by Promise kuzwayo

Stage manager by Zolutho Dumashe  Department of Arts Culture incubation

Videography by Market Theatre Foundation


Xolisile Bongwana

Eastern Cape born Xolisile Bongwana is an accomplished dancer who is also well-versed in singing, composing, directing, acting and choreography. Has worked with the Company from Port Elizabeth UPhondo Lwe Afrika 2005 – 2010, After he went to Vuyani Dance Theatre 2011 – 2017…. Bongwana has had an impressive career as an artist over the past decade and a half and his involvement in the performing artsy industry has seen him work with award-winning choreographers and Directors such as Robyn Orlin, Luyanda Sidiya, Gregory Maqoma, Angus Gibson, James Ngcobo, William Kentridge, Makhoala Ndebele, Nhlanhla Mahlangu. His impressive performance experience includes be Part of the works such as 100years ANC Celebration, Gibson Kente, Umnikelo, Dominion, Skeleton Dry, Beautiful Us, Four Seasons, Music Tribute Hugh Masekela Celebration, Centre For The Less Good Idea season 1, 2 & 5, Enyangeni, Requim Request & Cion. Bongwana’s composition was for used for Luyanda Sidiya’s “SIVA” Standard Bank Young Artist winner for Dance in 2015. The work was performed at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown and China, has also Composed for MAKWANDE, IN HER SHOES recently “AMAWETHU” also by Luyanda Sidiya. An artist of note, he was nominated in 2016 as part of the Mail and Guardian 200 Young South Africans, Winner of EASTERN CAPE ARTS AND CULTURE AWARD 2020 DANCE AND CHOREOGRAPHY.. just recently work with the Market Lab Company “Kwasha” as a movement Director in a production Rhinosorus. Has been part of William Kentridge ” Waiting for the SIBYL”. Recently just created his own work titled “MNQUMA” which he co-choreographed with David April and Directed by Katlego Dhuva Sekhosana, has been performed at The Centre For The Less Good Idea, Pop Art Theatre, Dance Umbrella Africa 2019, Market Theatre Intubation Program, Also have a privilege of performing the work at his Home Soil Port Elizabeth Opera House … Has Toured KENYA, GHANA, ZIMBABWE, ANGOLA, FRANCE, USA, UK, SPAIN, CANADA, AUSTRALIA, ITALY, HOLLAND, ROMANIA, FINLAND…

David Thatanelo April is a director, teacher, choreographer and lobbyist in the realms of South African dance and performance with over two decades of experience in the creative and cultural industries. Currently Creative Entrepreneurial Officer (CEO) of David April Arts Consultancy, he continues to be an independent consultant and provides individualized, hands-on consulting services for arts organizations, both the public and corporate sector, and educational institutions. In addition, within the performing arts sphere, he has filled the roles of performer, project manager, fundraiser, dance activist, developer of education through dance and movement, dance adjudicator, motivational speaker and reviewer. 2003 saw him being first recipient of the prestigious Tunkie Memorial Award for “Outstanding Dedication and Leadership in Dance”. His most recent accolade is the Business Arts South Africa (BASA) Award for “Management and Leadership in the Cultural Economy”.

April holds an MA in Cultural Policy and Management from Wits University and continues to run David April Arts Consultancy as well as teaching at various universities such as University of Pretoria and Tshwane University of Technology (TUT)

Katleho “Katt” Sekhosana is a writer, director, and performing artist who uses storytelling as a therapeutic tool, both for himself and his audiences.
Sekhosana moved into the realms of theatre-making following his studies in fine art and he considers this background in art history and visual communication as a useful starting point for his performance-based work. Considering his process to be primarily solitary, Sekhosana has enjoyed the elements of creative exchanges and free-flowing collaborations with fellow artists who have allowed him to embrace his abilities, as well as the various mediums he’s experimented with over the duration of his career