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Khwezi... Say her (my) name

Khwezi... Say her (my) name

The remarkable story of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo

Author: San Mari/22 May 2018/Categories: Drama, Main Artistic Program

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Event date: 2018-07-25 08:00 PM - 2018-08-12 03:00 PM Export event

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Date: 25 July - 12 August 2018 
Time: 20:00
Venue: Arena Theatre
Tickets: R110


Written & Directed by Napo Masheane
Adapted from “KHWEZI... The remarkable story of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo”  by Redi Tlhabi 

KHWEZI… Say My (Her) Name opens us up into the world of a young girl, KHWEZI who grew up in exile, who loved singing and dancing, and was part of a communal village of aunts and uncles who were fighting an evil system. But this noble cause against apartheid, was also a battle ground upon women’s bodies on different fronts. In her quest to know her father, Judson Kuzwayo, and to preserve his political life’s story; KHWEZI ends up in Forest Town, where she is sexually appropriated by her father’s former best friend, Comrade-Malume Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma. Through the rape trial and tribulations, we as the audience become part of KHWEZI’s court case against one of the most powerful man in South Africa. We see what events lead her and her mother, to walk away from the land whose liberation her father’s sole purpose was to free. We are reminded that she was not just a body or a metaphor. Not just a face or a vagina. Not a battleground or ripples of horror. But that she had a real name: 
FEZEKILE NTSUKELA KUZWAYO 

‘‘KHWEZI… Say (Her) My Name’, which is an adaptation of a book by Redi Tlhabi; KHWEZI (The remarkable story of) FEZEKILE NTSUKELA KUZWAYO. On the 8th of May 2006 Comrade Zuma had appropriated the body of his former friend and Comrade Judson Kuzwayo’s daughter. Zuma though acquitted of rape, argued out that they had consensual sex. To protect FEZEKILE NTSUKELA KUZWAYO’s identity during the trial she became known as KHWEZI. 

Subsequent to all this, KHWEZI’s home was burnt down, and her and her mother walked away from the land whose liberation her father’s sole purpose was to free. ‘KHWEZI… Say (Her) My Name’ opens us up into the world of a young girl who grew up in exile, who loved singing and dancing, and was part of a communal village of aunts and uncles who were fighting an evil system. But this noble cause against apartheid, was a battle ground upon women’s bodies on different fronts.

Through various explorations of RAPE, we as the audience wear the skin of victims of such brutality. Our minds provoked and emotions interrogated push us to tap deep into the harsh historic reality of South Africa. And while this play gives Khwezi the real face… the character that embodies her comes out strong, bold and courageous allowing this daughter of the soil to reclaims her real name against the land scape that has denied many women to own their bodies. 

“… as a playwright and director I have used theatre license of strong languages, powerful dance pieces, symbolic and provocative images. I have drawn inspiration from piercing sound effects, nostalgic visuals of the actual rape trial and the live afro-band music that is juxtaposed to amazing spiritual vocals. More than anything I have tried to hold dear the memory, the essence and feeling of FEZEKILE NTSUKELA KUZWAYO as narrated by Redi Tlhabi and those who have witness her pain, as well as her moving deep scars. FEZEKILE NTSUKELA KUZWAYO KHWEZI indeed and truly represents many of us (even some of us who are yet to tell our stories of rape out 
loud).”- Napo Masheane
 

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