The atmosphere was explosive at the Ramoloa Makhene Theatre at the final night of the 25th anniversary of the Zwakala Festival on Saturday 4 November.
It was time to announce the winning production that would receive the sought-after prize of a fully-funded mentorship programme from the Market Theatre Foundation and which would result in a two-week professional season supported by the Market Theatre’s technical, producing and communications departments.
Dikapapa, a political thriller depicting a life of a struggle stalwart and traitor now participating in South Africa’s democracy where a traitor is heralded as a hero, scooped the award. The production was directed by Nketu Lebeko. He has been working with his group of artists from Sharpeville for the last five years. The production also won the 2017 Standard Bank Fringe Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival.
Dikakapa is co-written by Teboho Serapelo, Isaac Sithole and Lebeko Nketu, mentored by Kgafela oa Magogodi, starring Karabelo Khaalo, Kholisile Dlamini, Mdengase Govuzela, Mduduzi Mdabuli, Mojabeng Rasenyalo and Thembi Qobo. Dikakapa will be staged at the Market Theatre for a full professional run and will join the ranks of other plays from the Zwakala Festival that have their professional debut at the Market Theatre.
The five-day festival Zwakala Festival has a long legacy of unearthing and nurturing talent for the competitive theatre industry. The 2016 Zwakala Festival winning production, Isithunzi, won the first prize at the inaugural Arts Incubators Trade Fair in June. The 2015 Zwakala Festival winning production, TAU, scooped a Standard Bank Gold Ovation Award at this year’s National Arts Festival.
Guest speaker Vanessa Cooke, who has a long association with the Market Theatre, spoke about the history of the Festival. Festival adjudicator Mpho Molepo shared notes for the directors and offered invaluable advice on how the community-based artists can continue to grow their productions.
The Market Theatre Foundation extends a hearty congratulation to the director and artists working on Dikakapa.