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Ikhwezi Theatre Festival in need of some assistance

October 8, 2009

Ikhwezi Theatre Festival Director Itumeleng Wa-Lehulere with some of the emering talents.

Ikhwezi Theatre Festival Director Itumeleng Wa-Lehulere with some of the emering talents.

 

 

 Furthermore, it has grown exponentially in a decade, with a record number of 19 productions launched at its 10th anniversary celebrations in 2008. During a three-week run earlier this year, 16 productions were staged by young theatre makers from around South Africa.

But not everything is good news. Even with its history and record of success, the Festival is on the brink of struggling to survive as one of the country’s crucial theatre development platforms. Its future is under threat owing to lack of funding. The event in 2010 has been downscaled to accommodate only a few productions, and this is concerning with regards to 2010 making South Africa a major tourist attraction due to the FIFA Soccer World Cup.

According to Ikhwezi Festival Director Itumeleng Wa-Lahulere, “This is indeed sad news for us and a terrible blow not only for our communities and theatre in general, but also for development in this country. The incredible impact of the festival over the years on the broader theatre environment in this country is patently clear and bears testament to all that Ikhwezi stands for – developing, nurturing and mentoring the abundance of talent in our communities We call on any generous and caring individuals as well as companies and organisations in both the public and private sectors to come forward and secure the festival’s future”.

The overall aims of the festival include the development of critical thinking among audiences and theatre practitioners through the arts, as well as popularising programmes such as health, environment, education and human rights. Several of the young talents who have come out of the festival have impacted on the broader local theatre scene, and many have moved from amateur to professional status, including Chuma Sopotela, who received both the 2007 Fleur de Cap Best Actress and the 2008 Naledi Best Performance by a Newcomer/Breakthrough Female awards for her role in “Karoo Moose”.

It would be a sad thing indeed if a festival creating such a calibre of artist is left behind and forgotten. Can you help?

For information on sponsorship and partnership opportunities, contact Baxter Development Manager Wendy Lessing on 021 680 3968 or 082 936 8513 or at wendy.lessing@uct.ac.za. You can also contact the Festival Director Itumeleng Wa-Lehulere on 021 680 3980 or at itumeleng.wa-lehulere@uct.ac.za.

For further information on the festival, contact Yandi Quwe on 021 680 3991 (mornings) and 021 680 3980 (afternoons).

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