XOVA wins Gold Ovation Award at NAF


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Image result for The South African State Theatre’s CEO Dr Sibongiseni Mkhize
Dr Sibongiseni Mkhize

The South African State Theatre’s CEO Dr Sibongiseni Mkhize congratulates the team of XOVA on scooping the Standard Bank Gold Ovation Award. The performance art piece written and directed by Joseph Komani topped the National Arts Festival fringe programme in Makhanda which was made up of hundreds of productions across theatre, family fare, comedy, illusion, dance, contemporary music, music recital, poetry, visual art, film, and physical theatre. On Thursday, the production was also awarded a Standard Bank Ovation Award which was followed by the Gold prize when its run ended on Saturday.

“The Council and management of the State Theatre are delighted about this honour that was bestowed on XOVA. The Gold award is testament to this theatre’s unwavering commitment to nurturing South African theatrical talent as part of embracing its pan-African identity. The theatre’s perseverance and determination to continue to become a space for young people to creatively express themselves has been rewarded. Congratulations to the cast of XOVA and everyone who has been involved in the process of making this success possible,” said Dr Mkhize

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According to NAF’s website, “the Standard Bank Ovation Awards celebrate artistic innovation, excellence, the exploration of new performance styles and the courage to open new conversations at the National Arts Festival.”

Komani is overwhelmed by the achievement. “It was a very tough journey. It is also an achievement to have performers who fully understand the vision because when it comes to such a show, you really must channel everyone in the same direction which is winning. I also feel that it was an achievement to tell an African story with a language such as Xhosa and have different audiences (white and black) understanding the story without using any projection of interpretation.”

XOVA- “Ukuxova,” a Xhosa word denoting the mixing of dough for baking- is a metaphor used for the process of raising a child in the show. The piece brings to stage, the endured hardships of solo parenthood and father absenteeism for examination. The production progressed from the theatre’s Incubator Programme- which is a development programme aimed at preparing semi-professional artists for the mainstream industry. Ahead of its festival participation, XOVA introduced award-winning actresses, Zimkhita Kumbaca and Zimkhita Nyoka. The show returns to the State Theatre from 17 to 30 September this year. It is presented in collaboration with The Ozone Fellas production company.

Along with XOVA, the State Theatre sent five works to the NAF this year. The works include, Angola Camp:13 musical by Sello Maseko, and AMAWETHU dance piece choreographed by Luyanda Sidiya- both were featured in the Main Programme. The musical QINA by Given Chauke and smoke artist, Anathi “Elpee” Nkanyuza’s ARTDICTION visual art exhibition were in the Fringe.

Thakgatso Setseta
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The South African State Theatre

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