Ankobia – Essential Theatre

Blacks should flock en masse to see Ankobia, a labour of black love written by Monageng “Vice” Motshabi and Omphile Molusi. Motshabi also donned the directorial hat on this production that wrestles violently with the psyche of an assimilated, indoctrinated and ultimately, a dominated people. This is honest theatre that conceals nothing, forcing the audience to deal with their continued complicity in their dispossession. The production equally forces the oppressor to see their sustained privilege play out on stage as they continue to hold onto the levers of power through a puppet government. Tis dem forces of evil (“white-supremacist-capitalist-patriarchy”) that attempts to suppress what seems to be a perpetual state of rebellion for black folks in this play set in 2041. The play will leave you shook, discombobulated and feeling some typa way. – Kulani Nkuna.

             Ankobia: A Leap Into The Future, A Step Into The Past – Makgotso Nkosi

Time can be a misleading thing it seems. Although Ankobia is set in the futuristic land of Pelodikgadile in the year 2041, the relevancy of this story is immense. The dually written production has intense underlying realities of what South Africa and perhaps other post-colonised countries are currently experiencing.

The creators point out the violence, crime and brutality by the colonial system in a surreal manner, but it is in these unreal realities that the present is explained. The play looks at the combination of Christianity and alcohol as a tool that keeps the dominated of our kind distracted from claiming the land of our ancestors. Although the play subtly dabbles in Dadaism, the idea of brainwash explored as sanctioned amnesia, it none the less has a way of challenging constructed ideas on the role of religion in post colonised spaces.

The story narrates the life of Xhoi, who finds himself serving under a hired religious figure read Jesus. He amongst many others of Pelodikgadile fall victim to the erasure of memory by the government.

The politics in the story are very evident, one song keeps returning to accentuate the center theme of the play, “Land” and this is done beautifully by a multi-talented percussionist whose instruments sound like a yearn, as they hum Sikhalela Izwelethu very soflty.

Ankobia is testimony to the existence of artistic anarchy in the South African art landscape.

                                                        Pelokgadile – Xolani Tembu
The year is 2041; the state of Pelokgadile is in tumultuous turmoil, a result of the events that began in 2039. Missionaries with purported powers of Jesus Christ’s proportions have taken over the land of Pelokgadile and its people. Having erased the Pelokgadilans’ natal identities consequently renaming them Christian style, they proceeded to pump in them religious fear, a true mirror of 18th century Southern Africa. Pelokgadilans are under constant monitoring and guard, particularly the all-important rebel leader Xhoi (Alfred Mothlapi), perceived to be the snake’s head by the missionary crusaders. Led by a questionable Ray-Ban shades donning character in papal regalia, the missionary crusaders hunt down all Pelokgadilans with the sole purpose of converting them. A successful conversion of a Pelokgadilan in this regard spells their displacement and land dispossession while enticed by the promise of material and bodily pleasures. Xhoi is captured and equally brainwashed; then immersed in the material pleasures experienced in a state of illusion. Consequently, Xhoi finds himself having forgotten his greatness. He finds himself having forgotten his calling and mission to liberate his people from missionary shackles. Spending his days in a daze of blissful coition, he is suddenly troubled by echoes of his former self as they begin to haunt him, thanks to two uncaptured Pelokgadilans in Kamma (Momo Matsunyane) and Ditukile (Billy Langa), and a battle ensues.

A cross between events of the 10th century crusaders’ holy wars and the 18th century cerebral violation of Africans by missionaries, Ankobia explores the effects of colonialism on Africans through the lens of missionary indoctrination. It explores socio-cultural and economic sacrifices and blunders made by African forefathers and by extension, the African National Congress, to the detriment of their descendants through the use of present day political metaphors. Kamma can be heard calling Dominic (Katlego Letsholonyana) a ‘House Nigger’ as she and Ditukile journey towards unshackling their captured brothers. With ‘the return of land to its rightful owners’ at the centre of this showcase, it is undebatable that Motshabi and Molusi feel black South Africans have woken up. They confirm that in fact, black South Africans, the very descendants of their unfortunate forefathers, have pieced together historical accounts of what happened to their forefathers, their wealth and the land of their birth.

With a definite potential to ruffle feathers in all corners of this country, particularly the highest echelons of our pillaging government, it is left to imagination what the look and feel of boardroom conversations are like in sponsorville. The show’s costume selection ranges from a mimic of collections out of the Star Wars Franchise to those from the acclaimed television serial, Game of Thrones. The vigour with which the show is delivered has left black reviewers salivating with plenty to barf.

*Running until the 13th August 2017 at The Market Theatre at a special ticket price of R90.00 between Tuesday and Thursday, R150.00 between Friday and Sunday; and an added student discount of R70.00, Ankobia is worthy of your diary, though do leave close-mindedness at home.


Ode To Black

ode to black -culture review magazine
Black is the colour of mourning and melancholy. Black epitomises stealth; it is
central to clandestine ventures and cool lonesomeness. Black is the colour of
executive cars, gadgets, accessories and clothing. Eternally beautiful, Black is the
colour of the universe, the infinite deep dark unknown abyss. Black is a wormhole,
mysterious and ever-receding, absorbing everything around it and revealing
nothing. Black is all colours mixed together, perhaps the sum of the visible. Black is
the only colour without light, though full and empty.

Continue reading “Ode To Black”

A Beautiful Struggle

Text: Flo Foundation

Photography: Flo Mokale

Thabo “Flo” Mokale, father and founder of the Flo Foundation has always been a lover of images. Whether it’s through his poetry or performances, he always strives to capture the mind with the magic of his visual and spoken imagery. Continue reading “A Beautiful Struggle”

Review – The Suit

Writer: Sibusiso Mkwanazi

Photographs: Supplied

“Umtsetse”. That is one of those words that seems not to exist in the English language. It is the “fold” that is ironed into a pair of pants. This line separates the men from the boys and the girls from the ladies. Can Themba’s The Suit does this with surgical precision as it clearly differentiates right from wrong, no matter the justification. Continue reading “Review – The Suit”

Sabelo Soko – Umkhondo

Poet Sabelo Soko Umkhondo. Culture Review

Writer: Xolani Tembu

Photograph: Musa N Nxumalo

Listening to Sabelo Soko’s second offering, Umkhondo, one can almost hear echoes of Sipho Mabuse’s Thaba Bosiu, those of the iconic Madala Kunene’s Ubombo and even Hugh Masekela’s Stimela. Needless to say, this album sets Soko hills apart from his compeers, certainly earning him the esteemed title ‘Bra’ Sabza. Continue reading “Sabelo Soko – Umkhondo”

Umzi Watsha – The Politics of (im)patience


Photography: Ayabonga Cawe

Text: Ciko Story Concepts

We live in compelling times. South Africa’s trajectory is shifting and its custodians are growing in consciousness – and in action. The times call for deep, meaningful and honest reflection and conversation. This is needed in order for us to enjoy a fruitful translation of those convictions in the immediate spaces we occupy. ‘UmziWatsha- The politics of (im) patience’ puts this under the spotlight. Continue reading “Umzi Watsha – The Politics of (im)patience”

Marat/Sade: A View From The Colony

Writer: Ziyana Lategan
Photographs: Oscar O’ryan

The Baxter Theatre’s 2017 staging of Peter Weiss’ The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of Marquis de Sade or Marat/Sade is without doubt, superbly performed. The stage, made to look like the inside of an asylum, made to look like a stage, was perfectly Brechtian in its effect. The audience, functioning as the actual audience in the asylum, was constantly made complicit in the spectacle of the performance Continue reading “Marat/Sade: A View From The Colony”

Celibacy Blues

InGlorious_Home_Emdeni_Soweto__0008 (1)

Writer: Ms Doo-Wop
Photograph: Musa N. Nxumalo

I had a conversation with a friend of mine the other night. Both of us are new in America, five months into our ‘international degrees’ and already feeling the emptiness of the promise of awayness.

We have both left lovers back home.

It is not that he does not have the opportunity to cheat or that he doesn’t want to. What he is afraid of is the freedom that comes with being anonymous. Continue reading “Celibacy Blues”

Ke e rekilemachina-eng

Writer: Blackhouse Kollective
Photography: Blackhouse Kollective

the blackhouse kollective educational exhibition at bree taxi-rank,during december 2016, publicly defied the rainbow reconciliation farce. displaying work titled sankofa – lest we forget, our exposition was greeted by police bullying. shabbily donned street-vendors poised helplessly at the receiving end of that police violence.

Continue reading “Ke e rekilemachina-eng”

Feta Kgomo O Tshware Motho

Busiswe Seabi Fees Must Fall confronting security force at Wits University

Writer: Mogobe Ramose
Photograph: Makgotso Nkosi

In his De Legibus, book III, part III, sub. VIII Cicero wrote that “saluspopulisupremalexesto”. The various translations of this maxim do not deviate from the basic insight that the health of the people shall be the supreme law. It is significant that Cicero makes this jussive declaration under the important title, “On laws”. Whatever laws there may be in a given human community, they ought to recognise, respect, protect and promote the foundation upon which they are built, namely, the health or well-being of all the individuals constituting the community. Continue reading “Feta Kgomo O Tshware Motho”

Cultural Confusion in Post-Colonial Countries

Kasi Mlungu Cultural Appropriation

Writer: Yannisha Yalla

Photograph: Fizz Designs (Twitter)

So many questions need to be asked about identities and cultures in post-colonial countries. Post-colonial countries are flooded with people who have been uprooted and then forced to adapt to a mainstream culture. This mainstream culture is usually white. The dispossessed are then taught to be grateful that their minds have been colonized.

Continue reading “Cultural Confusion in Post-Colonial Countries”