Director appointed for Zwakala Festival 2020


Zimkitha Kumbaca is appointed Resident Festival Director for the 27th Zwakala Festival 2020.

Zimkitha Kumbaca
Zimkitha Kumbaca

The Market Theatre Foundation is delighted to announce the appointment of Zimkitha Kumbaca as the new Resident Festival Director of the 27th Zwakala Festival that will take place from 8–9 February 2020.

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The Zwakala Festival is the most established and well-respected theatre festival in Gauteng. The revamped model of the festival has a much clearer mission and vision of the festival which is to develop, nurture and promote new writing talent, a platform for connecting communities and to support new writers/directors to connect with larger audiences.

“My vision for this year’s festival is to make every group’s journey rich with new discoveries and filled with new experiences that will enhance their work as they venture into the next stage of the competition. Theatre is my passion and being given this opportunity to watch productions every day from different communities and change people’s lives is really an opportunity that I will not take lightly,” said the newly appointed resident director Zimkitha Kumbaca.

The Market Theatre’s artistic director, James Ngcobo’s biggest commitment since joining the theatre five years ago is mentorship. “There has been a lot of young people who have come through the different programmes at the theatre where we have had the opportunity to mentor and the Zwakala Festival is another avenue that we are using to extend our mentorship reach to wider groups or communities. We have mentored young thespians across different disciplines such as directing, designing, musical direction etc. They have been given exciting opportunities at the foundation,” said James Ngcobo.

“Introducing the role of Resident Director for the Zwakala Festival was a brave move, in my working with the groups I realised that we needed a young voice who can help us curate the festival and work with fieldworkers. Seeing this unfold has really been a valuable lesson for us on how to grow the festival each year,” added Ngcobo.

Every year a director is attached to the festival to help with fieldwork, identifying the eight productions that will be mentored as part the first phase of the festival. After that process the director will work with the judges to help find the winner for the year and then the Resident Director is expected to work with the winning director to prepare the production for a run at the Market Theatre.

The selection is done by the Artistic Director and is based on how each individual will contribute to the growth of the festival. This year he has chosen Zimkitha Kumbaca. Her appointment was informed by her deep desire for storytelling, a quality that James found admirable about this young Director. He felt strongly that she will be at the forefront to hoist the flag of the Market Theatre Foundation to maintain the standards that are attached to the Festival and help to nurture young directors in honing their voices.

The Zwakala Festival will take place from 8–9 February 2020 at the Ramolao Makhene Theatre.

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