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As a part of the US Mission to South Africa’s ongoing effort to find creative ways to enhance South Africa’s efforts to combat HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence, the US Consulate General has awarded National Children’s Theatre a $20,000 grant to support a tour of the stage production A Short Cut – to a Short Life! The play addresses the tremendous risks young women face in “sugar daddy” relationships. Not only does the play illustrate the long-term negative effects of these relationships, which contribute to the HIV infection rate among young women, but it helps young people reflect on positive options for future life success.
The play is touring to schools in Durban: Pongola, Nongoma, Bhekuzulu, Mahlabathini and Paulpietersburg from 4 to 15 February 2019. In addition to the school performances, members of the cast lead discussions with the students to help them fully understand the issues raised in the performances and the challenges they represent.
National Children’s Theatre (NCT) CEO Moira Katz said, “We thank the United States Embassy and the US Consulate General in Durban for supporting a tour of A Short Cut – to a Short Life! to area schools. There is great value in educating young girls that “sugar daddy” relationships with older men can leave them scarred for life. Through storytelling, this play shows that the glamour of having a sugar daddy does not last and the results of such relationships are often abandonment by the “blessers,” HIV infection, pregnancy, missed educational opportunities, and estrangement from family and community.”
US Consul General in Durban Sherry Zalika Sykes praised NCT’s efforts and reaffirmed the US Mission’s commitment to partnering with South African organizations to support global health and anti-gender-based violence initiatives. “Programmes such as these touch audiences in a way that can be transformational. This production hits home with participants and leaves them with a real understanding of the dangers of blesser relationships. This program also allows us to get this important message to every corner of the province!”
A Short Cut – to a Short Life features professional actors Gamelihle Bovana, Primrose Cele, Fisiwe Kubeka, Kgaogelo Monama and Phumello Nkosi.
Production dates are Monday 04 to Friday 15 February 2019 KZN.