Africa Day – time to reflect and celebrate


Artsvark Presser

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Gregory Maqoma’s Cion

Africa Day (25 May) at the Market Theatre offers a dynamic and engaging programme of theatre, dance, music, visual art exhibitions, workshops and discussions.

Headlining the Market Theatre Foundation’s programme on Africa Day is the premiere of Gregory Maqoma’s production Cion, inspired by a character from Zakes Mda’s novel, Ways of Dying.

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The popular Wednesday morning tours of the iconic Market Theatre complex will engage audiences on the role that the institution has played as the home of “protest theatre” and how the Market Theatre continues to inspire and be a platform for building a more socially cohesive society. The signing of an MOU between the youth-centred social movement Blackboard Africa and the Market Theatre Foundation will launch a series of inter-generational dialogues that will take place at the Market Theatre and the Windybrow Arts Centre.

“We want the Market Theatre to be a place where young people can trade in creativity and ideas. We want to give them a stimulating programme and a dynamic opportunity to reflect, celebrate and envision new African narratives that will inspire us with renewed optimism,” says Market Theatre CEO, Ismail Mahomed.

The ceremonial signing event between the Market Theatre Foundation and Blackboard Africa will take place at a post-performance discussion of James Ngcobo’s production of the classic play The Suit adapted from Can Themba’s much-loved story of the same title.

Wits University students will also take centre-stage at the Market Theatre on Africa Day in Kgafela oa Magogodi’s allegorical play, Chilahaebolae, told in the Basarwa storytelling tradition. Students from the Market Theatre Laboratory will present a series of pop-up performances at the South African Cultural Observatory conference that will take place at venues across Newtown.

At the Market Photo Workshop, the 2016 Tierney Fellow, Celimpilo Mazibuko will confront historic land injustice by examining human settlement in South African townships in his photography documentary project, In Jus’this. George Senga Assani’s exhibition Cette maison n’est pas à vendre et à vendre will be at the Gallery 1989 at the Market Photo Workshop.

“With so much on offer on Africa Day, the Market Theatre Foundation will undoubtedly be a gathering point for patrons who want to experience the vibrancy of what it means to be an African. As a leading South African cultural institution, we pride ourselves in celebrating both excellence and relevance,” says Mahomed. “Africa Day offers the creative sector an opportunity to acknowledge the progress we have made and to reflect on the challenges that we face in a global environment. It offers us a moment to recommit ourselves to develop a better Africa and a better world”.

Admission to exhibitions at the Market Theatre is free. Bookings for shows can be made online at Details for all events is also available on the Market Theatre Foundation website

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