Written and performed by poet, playwright, performer Siphokazi Jonas, Hope Netshivhambe, and vocalist Zimbini Makwetu. A poetry and music production brought to you in association with Wrestling Dawn Arts and Fresh Impressions.
#WeAreDyingHere, which debuted at the Artscape Innovation Lounge in November 2019, is a collection three women’s responses to the prevalence of GBV, a violent culture of harassment, abuse, rape and femicide in South Africa. The production was well-received, with calls to bring it back for a longer run.
“We want to put out a challenge to ourselves and all members of society to reimagine a more hopeful future where the most vulnerable are not overwhelmed by fear,” Jonas says of her latest deeply personal and considered production. The show also asks how we can continue these conversations, not just during 16 Days of Activism but 365-days-a-year which is how we experience violence in our country. “The show is an indaba,” she shares. “Audiences will have space to respond and imagine together. All three-cast members co-wrote the work; Siphokazi Jonas, along with Venda-born storyteller Hope Netshivhambe and vocalist Babalwa Makwetu.
Hope has performed her poetry at The State Theatre (Pretoria), the Market Theatre (Johannesburg), and has been part of the first ever-national Fresh Poetry Tour. She recently took third place at the Tshwane Speak Out Loud poetry competition for the 2018/2019 edition.
Zimbini Makwetu, who was also part of the cast of Jonas’ Around the Fire 2018, is a 2017 Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards nominee for Best Supporting Actress. She is both an actress and a musician; currently she is a part-time music teacher at Magnet Theatre where she studied Physical Theatre and a number of other disciplines. Babalwa has toured locally and internationally, including Italy, Switzerland and the USA. She released her debut single, “Vuma”, in 2019 under ES Records.
#WeAreDyingHere is an important work in speaking back, speaking against, and leading the conversation, which need to be had within our communities.