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The bold one-person play State of the National DisAster (SONDA), written and performed by Philangezwi Nxumalo, is heading to Kippies Fringe at The Market Theatre. Nxumalo, working alongside director Aalliyah Matintela is set to take audiences on an entertaining, playful and thought-provoking journey.

SONDA is a contemporary take on protest theatre, blending satire, physical comedy, and poignant storytelling to shed light on the post-Apartheid State, 30 year into South Africa’s democracy. Through a high-energy 70-minute performance, Nxumalo fearlessly confronts pressing issues such as unemployment, poor service delivery, high crime rates, an ailing education system, widespread poverty, the prevalence of incompetent public servants, and unfulfilled promises.

Drawing inspiration from iconic works like Woza Albert! (which began at The Market Theatre in 1981), Nxumalo aims to engage audiences of all backgrounds in meaningful dialogue about the challenges faced by ordinary South Africans. “My main vision with this work is to create a theatre production with broad appeal that caters to everyone,” says Nxumalo. “I’m interested in making popular theatre that tells stories of real people, tackling real issues that affect ordinary people every day”, he adds. 

The multi-talented storyteller, who was born and raised in a small village called Mbazwana in KwaZulu Natal, say he is committed to telling black people’s stories from marginalized communities.

The Artistic Director of The Market Theatre, Greg Homann, says, “It feels appropriate to have SONDA included as part of the Market Theatre Foundation’s 30 Years of Democracy Season. Philangezwi Nxumalo’s bold and incisive portrayal resonates deeply with the varied themes we aim to explore throughout this milestone season. Through his satirical lens, Nxumalo brings to life the struggles, triumphs, and complexities of our nation, inviting audiences to critically reflect on the journey of the past three decades and the challenges that lie ahead.” Homann adds, “SONDA epitomizes the spirit of artistic expression and social commentary that has defined The Market Theatre, and we are proud to showcase such a work made by young theatre-makers expressing their creative voice.”

Matintela and Nxumalo, who are both graduates of The Market Theatre Laboratories 2 year actor training programming, joined forces over a year ago to create this work. Since then it has been shared in school halls and community centres, as well as in Nxumalo’s home-province of KwaZulu-Natal.

The accessible and relatable fringe-style production is a call to action. It challenges the status quo, aiming to inspire change and transformation in the political landscape.

Directed by Aalliyah Matintela, this fresh theatrical work is presented in the 50-seater Kippies fringe space in Newtown by The Market Theatre in association with The Art Cave & Ubuciko Bethonga.

“SONDA is an important story that need to be told especially with how the state of our nation is. This is a piece that provokes and demands one to question. In a world filled with so much chaos, being part of this production feels like my little contribution to fight for better future” said Matintela

Tickets for SONDA are only R100, with block bookings of 10 or more at R75. Bookings can be made via Webtickets or The Market Theatre’s website ( You can also buy tickets directly from The Market Theatre’s box office prior to any performance.

Head to Kippies from 14 to 17 March 2024 to enjoy this brave one-person play with its meaningful message told through laughter.

For media enquiries please contact Lusanda Zokufa (Brand and Communication Manager at the Market Theatre Foundation) at  or (011) 832 1641 or 072 367 7867.

About the Creator and Performer: Philangezwi Innocent Bhekuyise Nxumalo was born and raised in a small village called Mbazwana in KwaZulu Natal. He is a multi-talented storyteller interested in black people’s stories from marginalized communities. He graduated from City Varsity and The Market Theatre Laboratory with Diplomas in Professional Acting, Practical Performance and Theatre Making. His debut performances include roles in the Naledi Award winning productions “No Easter Sunday for Queers” directed by Mwenya Kabwe; “Eclipsed Phifalo ya Ngwedi” directed by Sylvaine Strike; and Joburg Theatre’s multilingual adaptation of Macbeth and Woza Albert. He is a co-Founder and Curator of the Yes Lets Experimental Festival, which is an annual festival for young emerging theatre makers that takes place annually at The Market Theatre Laboratory.