Prepare to get uncomfortable with ‘Confessions of a Blacklisted Woman’

06 August 2018 - 13:42 By Lwandile Bhengu
The cast of the highly provocative and political play "Wathinta Abafazi", Fezeka Shandu, Ayanda Nyawo, Simphiwe Dladla, Ntando Madlala, Thobani Gama and Phumelele Majola which is on at the Durban Playhouse from the 7-11th of August 2018 for Women's Month
The cast of the highly provocative and political play "Wathinta Abafazi", Fezeka Shandu, Ayanda Nyawo, Simphiwe Dladla, Ntando Madlala, Thobani Gama and Phumelele Majola which is on at the Durban Playhouse from the 7-11th of August 2018 for Women's Month
Image: Picture: JACKIE CLAUSEN

South African writer and director Zimkitha Kumbaca says that audiences should be prepared to get uncomfortable with her latest theatrical offering.

Kumbaca’s production‚ Confessions of a Blacklisted Woman: She Bellows‚ will be one of the six performances at the 22nd South African Women’s Arts Festival at the Durban Playhouse.

“I need them (the audience) to be in a space where they ask themselves questions and confront themselves‚ even if it leaves them shook‚” says Kumbaca

The questions Kumbaca says the audience will need to ask themselves will pertain to issues of patriarchy‚ women abuse and representation of black women in contemporary South Africa.

Speaking about one of the key questions she wants audiences to engage with‚ that of skin bleaching‚ she says: “I feel like my kind (dark skinned women) is being exterminated bit by bit.”

Describing how the production was born in 2007 when she was still a student at the Tshwane University of Technology‚ she says: “I felt displaced as a black woman‚ like I needed to be a specific way to accommodate males‚ like there were certain boxes I needed to tick‚ like I was being packaged for someone else.”

In dealing with these important social issues faced by women‚ Kumbaca says she was not afraid to risk it all.

“I am not going to hold onto diplomacy‚ I am going to be unapologetic. Even if the production dies this year‚ at least I would have told the truth‚” she says.

The production‚ which will be performed on August 16 at the Playhouse‚ received high praise at the National Arts Festival in Makhanda‚ previously known as Grahamstown‚ in 2017.

The Playhouse Company’s chief executive and artistic director‚ Linda Bukhosini‚ says this year's festival line up was impressive.

“To celebrate this momentous landmark‚ our SAWAF roster is jam-packed with frontline shows‚ featuring South Africa’s latest and greatest theatrical productions‚ performers‚ directors‚ writers and choreographers.

“In keeping with Women’s Month‚ SAWAF’s mix of dance‚ drama‚ music‚ dialogue‚ arts and craft showcases the determination of South African women to find freedom‚ respect and equality in our society‚” adds Bukhosini.

Other productions on offer include: - Wathinta Abafazi‚ Wathint’Imbokodo‚ an adaptation of the 1986 stage production You Strike the Woman You Strike the Rock‚ at the Playhouse on Tuesday‚ August 7. - Scars‚ a dance production that explores gender stereotyping‚ and the negative effects it causes. The production will be held on August 8.

- Tribute Concert on August 11 features the likes of Gloria Bosman and Gcina Mhlophe‚ which will be in honour of struggle stalwarts Albertina Sisulu and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela

- Ndoni‚ a dance production created by 2018 Standard Bank Young Artist of the Year for Dance Musa Hlatswayo‚ will be performed on August 10.

- Womb of Fire‚ set against an episode of the India epic The Mahabharata and exploring the effects of colonisation‚ will be staged on August 17

The festival will kick off on August 7 and will run until August 18.


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