Umnqa! – Never Defeated

The year is 1820. A young Gonaqua Xhosa man frees his mother from eight years of captivity under the Magistrate of Uitenhage. When caught and sent to Robben Island, he then frees the warrior-prophet Makhanda. His is a spirit that never accepts defeat. He kept up his resistance through wars, kidnappings and imprisonment.

This true story of defying the strongholds of colonial conquest links the past and the present. The performing duo are thought-leaders in creative history. They skillfully tell such hidden true stories by using poetry, dance and drama, to break through the silences of conventional written history.

  • Ticket Price: R40.00
  • Genre: Theatre
  • Duration (minutes): 15mins
  • Ages: All Ages
  • Release Date: July 13, 2021 16:00 - August 31, 2021 23:59
  • Language: IsiXhosa and English



Written and directed by: Azile Cibi
Cast: Likhaya Jack & Azile Cibi
Historical provided by: Julie Wells


Azile Cibi is the producer, writer and performer of this film. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Rhodes University. He has collaborated with Likhaya Jack, a popular pantsula dancer, in a number of projects over the past five years. They are both born and raised in the townships of Makhanda.

Together, as Imvelaphi, they are pioneers of imaginative new forms of creative history. Using contemporary dance and poetry styles as ways of connecting with today’s youth, they breathe life into the silenced histories of African people. Their performances are grounded in new historical research undertaken in collaboration with Prof. Julie Wells of the Isikhumbuzo Applied History Unit at Rhodes University.

In the interests of developing histories for the people, regardless of income, all productions are kept very simple and portable. To date, they have performed highlights of Umnqa! – Never Defeated on stages, at street corners, in open fields, at international academic conferences, in classrooms and in rural villages. The show won first prize in the Sarah Baartman District drama competition in 2018.