Herstory festival part of activities lined up to celebrate Women’s Month

Playwright Napo Masheane will present the Herstory International Theatre Festival, the first locally-curated theatre festival.

The festival will be held during Women’s Month between 1 and 7 August in Soweto and is expected to be one-of-a-kind with incredible international acts from the US, Canada, the UK, Brazil, Jamaica, Sweden and the Caribbean.

From Africa, festival-goers can expect to engage with acts from Nigeria, Botswana, Lesotho, Senegal, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Madagascar, Namibia, and South Africa.

Napo said the creatives always use their art to inspire and empower others, adding that they also use their voices to evolve with time to provoke and to have discussions that create positive change in communities.

“Thus, it is imperative for women creatives to stop navigating and negotiating spaces in a culture that often mutes or censors their artistic talents and abilities,” said Napo.

“My take is that as sister-friends and creative siblings, we need to collectively create our own stages where the focus will be igniting each other’s sparks while sharing parts of ourselves unapologetically.”

The Soweto Theatre, which is celebrating 10 years this year since its inception, has also partnered with the Village Gossip Productions to commemorate 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria on August 9 1956. The march by the women of all races was against the Apartheid government’s pass laws.

The commemoration will provide a platform to 250 artists from 17 countries in collaboration with over 20 production companies and other institutions from Africa, the diaspora, and the world.

The line-up consists of prominent artists including theatre maker Kharyish Wigington (USA), dub poet d’bi young (Jamaica/Canada), visual activist and photographer Sir Zanele Muholi, and executive producer Darling Desperado (Sweden).

Featured performing arts practitioners will be Ibokwe (South Africa), Liatile Mohale (Lesotho), and a guest appearance by the National Theatre of Namibia.

The festival will include opening and closing days hosted by media personalities including Makgano Mamabolo and Nomsa Buthelezi-Shezi. There will also be diverse live performances by the likes of sensational Buhle Bendalo from The Soil, a choreo-dance piece by Teresa Phuti Mojela, and many others.

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Mbalenhle Zuma

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