New play sheds light on inner-city housing crisis

Kwa’Mnyamandawo, the latest new work by Kwasha! The 7th Theatre Company, homed at The Windybrow Arts Centre, is making its way to The Market Theatre Foundation’s Ramolao Makhene Theatre for a short run. The devised work excavates the challenges within the inner city.

Kwa’Mnyamandawo is told through the eyes of an eager and zealous junior investigative reporter who, concerned by the housing crisis and other social ills in Hillbrow decides to utilise her skillset to get to the bottom of what is going on. What she discovers not only shocks her but makes her realise the extent to which corrupt police officers and public officials utilize abandoned buildings systematically to trade illegal goods and substances.

Working with a local tour guide, she is able to enter ‘intimate’ yet somewhat dangerous public spaces which would normally not be accepting of her presence. In so doing, she sees first-hand how rough and tough the streets and surrounds of the inner city Hillbrow are, learning what it takes for those to survive in a place they have no choice but to call home.

As a socially focused play, Kwa’Mnyamandawo offers insights into the lives of those who live on the margins of society, excluded from meaningful participation in civic activities and who are all but forgotten by mainstream society. The occupants navigate their existence in crowded spaces which offer little to no room for children to play or for healthy social activities. The production not only highlights the plight of inner-city residents whose lives are characterized by rampant crime and harsh living conditions, but it also serves as a powerful indictment on public officials who have allowed these things to happen.

The dynamic production is brought onto the stage by Kwasha! The 7th Theatre Company which was established in 2018 as a collaboration between the Market Theatre Laboratory and the Windybrow Arts Centre. This reparatory system of making theatre has over its several years of existence provided a brilliant home for new, emerging talent. It is a space for entry-level professional theatre-makers to experiment, grow, develop, harness and sharpen their skills as they embark on a career in the world of theatre performance.

In its six previous iterations, Kwasha! Theatre Company has showcased devised and innovative productions as well as several adaptations at spaces such as the National Arts Festival (NAF) and internationally. Three of those productions won much sought after and highly competitive Standard Bank Ovation Awards. These were The Little Prince, which won in 2018, and Currently (G)old and Rhinocerus which both won in the NAF 2019 edition.

After their one year with Kwasha!, several actors from the company have been cast into different productions and have enjoyed work at theatre houses in various roles. This is testament to the robust, relevant and cutting-edge sharpening of their skill through their enriching time as part of this programme.

Devised by the Kwasha! The 7th Theatre Company cast, Kwa’Mnyamandawo has Thabang Chauke as the director, Joel Leonard as mentor with costume and set design by Chloe Wittstock.

Be the first to catch this original production at the Ramolao Makhene Theatre at The Market Square in Newtown from 18 to 21 July for four performances only.


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.

For reduced price block bookings (of 10 or more) and school groups, contact Anthony Ezeoke (Audience Development) at or 083 246 4950 or Mamello Khomongoe 0815729612






An edgy new play about bedroom dynamics heats up The Market!

Amaxelegu​ is a brand-new play by award-winning actor, writer, director, theatre-maker, performance artist and all-round creative powerhouse, Qondiswa James. This edgy three-hander has emerged out of the Market Theatre’s Play Development Programme which was launched last year, and that focuses on unearthing and developing “fresh, urgent, or compelling” stories under the guidance of Artistic Director, Greg Homann.

​In Amaxelegu, Qondiswa ​James curates a provocatively risqué yet relatable and beautiful story focussing on the bedroom dynamics of a young couple and their interactions with the woman who ‘cleans up after them’. The title roughly translates in English to “Messy People”. The play, which is mostly in English, includes some Xhosa. It’s a play about love in the time of non-monogamy, a journey into the complexity of present-day relationships. 

It is set in the bedrooms of the characters in a non-descript city in South Africa. ,They navigate the transactions of class and gender as they move between various private and domestic contexts. Amaxelegu features an impressive cast which includes Shalima Mkongi, a UCT, AFDA and Waterfront Theatre School graduate in the role of ‘Thabisa’. Mkongi has several notable theatre and film roles under her belt including The Crucible, Cincinatti, Justice Served and Diamond City, in addition to being a sought-after voice actor. It also features Luxolo Ndabeni in the role of ‘Azola’. Ndabeni is a South African State Theatre product best known for roles in Lockdown (S1), Surviving Gaza and Gomora (S4). Audiences can look forward to how the two will portray the private and social dynamics of the play’s central relationship as Thabisa and Azola navigate their day-to-day lives within the backdrop of gender and class as young, upwardly mobile-middle-class black South Africans.

In the role of ‘Mama Priscilla’ is the veteran award-winning film and television actor, Nambitha Mpumlwana​ who is well-known for her work on screen in multiple, award-winning and memorable productions from Generations to Invictus, from Yizo-Yizo to Tsotsi and much more in between. Nambitha Mpumlwana recently featured in the hit-production, The Cry ​of Winnie Mandela ​at The Market Theatre, playing ​struggle icon, political activist, liberation fighter, and the first-first lady of democratic South Africa, Winnie Mandela. 

Qondiswa ​James has built an impressive oeuvre of work since bursting onto the scene. She has studied and worked with an enviable array of playwrights, directors and theatre houses. Her directorial works include​, Emhlab’Obomvu​, performed at the National Arts Festival in 2016 and​, Silindile​, which was part of the UCT New Voices in 2017. She as awarded the Theatre Arts Admin Collective’s Emerging Theatre Directors Bursary in 2018 for, A Faint Patch of Light, a powerful re-interpretation of the legendary playwright Athol Fugard’s Statements After An Arrest Under The Immorality Act. That play was nominated in 2019 for 2 Fleur du Cap Awards for Best New Director and Best Actress.

​More recently, Qondiswa James was part of the Centre for the Less Good Idea’s ​innovative and groundbreaking project “On Air: Visual Radio Plays​”​, which was an experiment with aural and visual interpretation of theatrical works with the play, Emalehleni. Qondiswa James’ star continues to rise. This time she brings her fearless imagination and boundless talents to the Market Theatre stage.

Completing A​maxelegu’s formidable team is set and costume design​er Onthatile Matshidiso, sound designer Jannous Nkululeko Aukema​, AV designer Jurgen Meekel and Andrea Rolfes, and lighting designer David Themba Stuart​.

This is a fresh and bold production which will heat up those cold winter nights. Head to The Market Theatre this August and be the first to catch this sizzling new play directed and written by one of South Africa’s next wave of brilliant young theatre artists.

Age Advisory: 16 (SNL)

Language: English (with some Xhosa)


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.

For reduced price block bookings (of 10 or more) and school groups, contact Anthony Ezeoke (Audience Development) at or 083 246 4950 or Mamello Khomongoe 0815729612

The Ugly Noo Noo

The Ugly Noo Noo

A South African Theatre classic lands back at The Market

The Market Theatre announces the return of Andrew Buckland’s masterpiece of comic physical performance, the acclaimed one-man show, The Ugly Noo Noo. The extraordinary text, which arguably changed the face of South African theatre for many thousands of practitioners and audience members alike, was first presented 36 years ago at the Market Theatre.

The Ugly Noo Noo tells the story of a man’s encounter with an insect. Not just any insect but the notorious Parktown Prawn which inhabited the suburbs of Johannesburg particularly during the 80’s and 90’s. Using sharp satirical commentary, an explosive performance style and Buckland’s unique stage presence, this play takes the audience on an unforgettable journey through the compost heaps and dark underbelly of suburban life in the big city. <br>It examines in splitting comic detail the relationship between fear and power in our everyday lives. Respected arts critique of the day, Barry Ronge, praised the play for making audiences “howl with laughter at the sheer sensual pleasure of theatrical performance.”

Directed by Janet Buckland, this groundbreaking play has garnered 17 national and international awards, including a Fringe First and a Perrier Pick of the Fringe shortlisting at the Edinburgh Festival. The accolades over the years have honoured its script, direction, and outstanding performance.

Drawing inspiration from the irrational fear evoked by the Parktown Prawn, The Ugly Noo Noo delves into how fear is manipulated in times of struggle and difficulty, while also addressing universal human truths. 

Its relevance and humour endure, making its main theme of irrational fear as compelling today as it was in 1988.

This return of the work to The Market celebrates the remarkable contribution of this pioneering piece to South African Theatre. Artistic Director of the Market Theatre, Greg Homann, says, “It’s a privilege for us at The Market to be able to welcome this play home, retaining Andrew Buckland in the role alongside the works relevance to our current world of fear and uncertainty.” Homann adds, “This season provides an opportunity for an audience who know the work to relive its brilliance, while giving a new audience a chance to witness the unique skills and stage presence of this elder of South African Theatre.”

The fact that the The Ugly Noo Noo is still being played today is a testament to the extraordinary nature of the show and its creators, affirming that more than three decades later, this is theatre that remains as enthralling and funny as ever.

Don’t miss the opportunity to see Andrew Buckland in his seminal role at The Market Theatre from 15 August to 1 September 2024. Bookings are open via Webtickets.


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.

For reduced price block bookings (of 10 or more) and school groups, contact Anthony Ezeoke (Audience Development) at or 083 246 4950 or Mamello Khomongoe 0815729612

Award-Winning Theatre Duo Returns to The Market Theatre with Poetic Revival

Award-Winning Theatre Duo Returns to The Market Theatre with Poetic Revival

The team behind last year’s much acclaimed production of Khongolose Khommanding Khommissars (KKK) return to The Market Theatre, this time with Poet-O-Type. In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the play, the award-winning “Theatre Duo” – Billy Langa & Mahlatsi Mokgonyana – and playwright J. Bobs Tshabalala, collaborate on this new staging.

Poet-O-Type follows the journey of a talented student of poetry as he contends with the varied and at times contradictory lessons of his mentor. Part ode to poets and wordsmiths, the play explores the life of artists who are trying to make a living by weaving words as they navigate the underground poetry-in-performance scene in pursuit of recognition and admiration. The play is funny, witty, full of language play, and is crafted by a team with a deep love of words.

This revival of Tshabalala’s play, exactly a decade after its debut, is directed by Mahlatsi Mokgonyana, working alongside original cast member, Billy Langa (Tswalo, The Life and Times of Michael K) who reprises his role as the mentor. Artistic Director of The Market Theatre, Greg Homann, shares, “One can see why this role, which was seemingly made for Billy, has evolved and grown as the show has matured under Mahlatsi’s direction.” 

Mokgonyana and the creative team deliver a tighter and slightly restructured production since the original version staged ten years ago.

Alongside Langa, is the prodigiously talented newcomer Trevor Lynch who was seen last year on the John Kani stage at The Market in the end-of-the-year comedy, A Marry Little Christmas. The production’s other creative collaborators include Kozo Zwane whose music and soundscapes create the world of the play and Ernest ‘Ginger’ Baleni whose movement direction elevates the theatrical style of the work. This is a cast and creative team at the top their game.

The dynamic two-hander sizzles with energy and an inviting playfulness as the two actors spar with words, which Tshabalala conjures with deft craft and sharpness.

Tshabalala, who was recently awarded the Naledi Award for Best New South African Script for Khongolose Khommanding Khommissars (KKK), has written with Poet-O-Type a play that accessibly enters a heightened poetic space where words, their meanings, double-meanings, and even wholesale lack of meaning become the silver thread. The relatable dialogue is clever and witty but never indulgent. This dynamic makes the production appealing to a wide audience, as well as being the perfect production for school-learners grappling with figures of speech in poetic language. This is a play that will engage an audience in an entertaining way, while nurturing an understanding of language and poetry.

Performances take place at The Market Theatre from 11 to 28 July at the theatre’s usual time, and with the possibility of school performances by special arrangement from Wednesday to Friday at 11am.

The Cry of Winnie Mandela

The Cry Of Winnie Mandela

The Cry Of Winnie Mandela is a compelling journey through history, emotion, and the enduring strength of the female South African spirit.

Based on the popular novel by poet, novelist, and essayist Njabulo Ndebele, The Cry of Winnie Mandela is a poignant theatrical production brought to life by The Market Theatre. This thoughtful new play of resilience is adapted by Alex Burger and directed by the award-winning MoMo Matsunyane who is the current Standard Bank Young Artist Winner for Theatre.

Through the imagination of a literary professor, the action centres on the stories of four women who reflect on a period of waiting during the absence of their men. Between intense emotional moments and cleverly injected humour, the dynamic theatrical adaptation weaves together their private accounts, exposing the shadows, isolation, and complexities of their evocative experiences. A series of intimate and powerful conversations unfold as the characters reveal the profound impact of this period of their life, delving into the depths of their longing and uncertainty as they forge their stories to that of the life and times of Winnie Mandela.

The universal theme of waiting is a central motif, allowing the audience to reflect on the historical struggles of women while drawing parallels to their own contemporary lives.

You are invited to join these resilient women as they gather, share their stories, sing, and metaphorically drink their “tea” – a potent blend of strength and vulnerability.

Don’t miss this powerful exploration of love, resilience, courage, and the indomitable spirit of women.

A cast of six with five females and one male:

1.     Rami Chuene

2.     Ayanda Sibisi

3.     Nambitha Mpumlwana

4.     Siyasanga Papu

5.     Pulane Rampoana

6.     Les Nkosi

Creative Team:

  1. Set & LX Designer: Wilhelm Disbergen
  2. Costume Designer: Onthatile Matshidiso
  3. Sound & AV Designer: Vangile Mpumlwana

Creative Team

Creative Team
Alex Burger

Alex Burger is an award-winning author, screenwriter, and playwright.

His plays include: The Crusaders (Oxford University, in progress) Fees Must Fall (Wits University, 2016), The Inkanyamba (Market Theatre Lab, 2015) and Whose Blood (The Old Operating Theatre London, 2012) which played to a fully sold-out run. His TV credits include head-writing Die Testament One & Two South Africa’s first TV show written for mobile viewing (Netwerk24, 2022 & 2019), Seasons 3 and 4 of the SAFTA-winning TV series Umlilo (eTv 2015-2016), Doubt (Mzansi Magic 2016), and Hard Copy Season 4 (SABC3 2016). He is currently developing multiple TV projects including co-writing a feminist TV series Here She Comes (Infinite Eyes Films), co-developing an African-American satirical series The Campaign (Mundo Loco Films), and writing a Scooby Doo investigation of systemic racism Reparation City.

In his other life, Alex has served as a senior advisor to the World Bank for over twenty years working in thirty-four countries and served as the Vice President of Community Affairs for AngloGold Ashanti – Africa’s largest Mining company (2011-2013). Alex holds an MBA from INSEAD and a BA magna cum laude from Harvard University in the Comparative Study of Religion.

Creative Team
Kgomotso ‘MoMo’ Matsunyane

Kgomotso ‘MoMo’ Matsunyane (b. 1988) is an actor, playwright, director and singer.

MoMo has been a professional actor since 2004 after making her television debut on Thetha Msawawa 2. She obtained an Honours Degree in Dramatic Arts from Wits University in 2012, majoring in Performance as well as Film and Television. She has performed in numerous plays, films and television shows over her 19 year long career and has been nominated for and won several awards including: The Standard Bank Young Artist Award for Theatre in 2023, Hlakanyana The Musical, which won a whopping 8 out of the 14 awards at the 2023 Naledi Theatre Awards. She was also Head Writer for this very musical.

Matsunyane also won for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for her role as Mawethu along with Best Ensemble and Best Production of a Musical. Other achievements include; Best Actress in A Leading Role and Best Breakthrough Performer nominee (Have You Seen Zandile? ;Naledi Theatre Awards 2014), Best Supporting Actress winner (Ankobia ; SA Theatre Magazine Awards 2017), Best Ensemble winner (Animal Farm; Naledi Theatre Awards 2015), Best Supporting Role nominee (Tsotsi The Musical; Fleur Du Cap Awards 2018) and Best Fringe Productions nominee (Unlearn and Dick Or Date?; Naledi Theatre Awards 2019)

Earlier in 2023, she acted in a new sketch comedy show called Republic Of South Ah directed by Kagiso Lediga and it is currently on popular streaming network Netflix. In June she co-directed Their Silence Left Us Nothing But Tokens in France, Lyon as part of a collaboration between the Market Theatre Laboratory and ENSATT. In the previous year Matsunyane was also festival director of the acclaimed Zwakala Festival and following its success, went on to mentor the director of the winning group as the show took to the stage in October 2023.

In 2022 she also performed in If A Tree Falls which was also directed by acclaimed director Janice Honeyman. In 2020, she performed in Switzerland in Converting Eviction a collaboration between Ntsoana Contemporary Dance Theatre and KMUProduktionen. In 2021 she was cast in Standard Bank Young Artist Award Winner for Dance, Lulu Mlangeni’s NAF production Kganya which made its live debut at the internationally acclaimed festival Afrovibes in 2022 and also enjoyed a run at The State Theatre in July 2023. Matsunyane hopes to grow her production company which has created a platform for her to independently write, produce and star in her own shows as she navigates this often challenging but equally rewarding industry.

Creative Team
Wilhelm Disbergen

Wilhelm Disbergen is a prolific theatre designer who regularly works in all major theatres in South Africa. He is a multiple winner at the annual Naledi Theatre Awards, and has also received a Fleur du Cap award for lighting design.

For theatre, his collaboration with State Theatre’s Artistic Director Aubrey Sekhabi started with Silent Voice, followed by Sekhabi’s three seminal freedom plays – Mantolo: The Tenth Step, Kalushi: The Story of Solomon Mahlangu, and The Rivonia Trial. This was followed by three epoch making musicals – Hungry (a co-production with the SchauSpielHaus Hamburg), and the epoch making Marikana – The Musical, and Freedom The Musical.

Recent work in theatre include Eugène Ionesco’s The Lesson (dir Greg Homan) at the Market Theatre, an immersive production of Ariane Mnouchkine and Théâtre du Soleil’s 1789 (dir Phyllis Klotz and Smal Ndaba) at the Sibikwa Arts Centre, and Napo Mashenane’s ground-breaking musical Thaba Bosiu at PACOFS.

In 2018, he designed Jessica Nupen’s Don’t Trust the Border for Kampnagel, Hamburg. This was followed in the same venue by The Nose, a film/live performance hybrid (2021), and GEMeinsam (2022).

He lit 21 seasons for the Cape Town City Ballet. A highlight was lighting and staging Olivier award winning Muthuthuzeli November’s Ingoma (2021). For Joburg Ballet, he designed Big City, Big Dreams, Whispers of My Soul (chor Redha), and The Nutcracker (chor Angela Malan), last performed at the end of 2023 at the Teatro at Montecasino and The Playhouse in Durban.

At the National Arts Festival, he designed new works for three Standard Bank Young Artists – Moffie for Bailey Snyman (2012), Sabela for Thandezile Sonja Radebe (2017), and Purgatory for Kristi-Leigh Gresse (2022). At the 2018 festival, he designed Black Privilege for Nyamza, the featured artist of the festival. He teamed up again with Snyman for Gas Lands (2019), and Nyamza for Pest Control (2020) and Hatched Ensemble (2023).

Creative Team
Onthatile Matshidiso

Onthatile Matshidiso is production designer and arts educator with 12 years’ experience in using clothes to tell stories. Born in Tlhabane, Rustenburg and now based in Johannesburg, Onthatile grew up in a community that valued the arts in childhood development.  In her household, Onthatile was inspired by her mother who saw the value of a carefully selected wardrobe as a tool of self-expression. Her father taught her meticulous precision in technical drawing.

Onthatile drew inspiration for fashion illustration from fashion spreads in publications such as Elle and True Love Magazine.

Onthatile is a Wits School of Arts graduate with majors in Production Design and Writing. In 2015, she was nominated for a Naledi Award in Costume award, for Matsemela Manaka’s Egoli. Onthatile has served as production design lecturer for The Wits School of Arts’ and for the Market Theatre Laboratory.

Recent credits in costume design include: The Terrified Talabalushi, The Lesson, Tata Etla Gae, and Nina Simone- 4 Women.

A cast of six with five females and one male

Rami Chuene

Rami is one of the leading actresses in South Africa, with 25 years of onscreen storytelling. She is most well-known for her roles in popular local soapies, The Queen, Muvhango, Scandal!, 7de Laan and Backstage. Rami is currently in the popular series, Giyani: Land Of Blood. Some of the TV dramas she has been in include, Inkaba, Harvest, The Republic, Abomzala, It’s Complicated, Justice For All, BET’s daily drama, ISONO, and British/American series, Strike Back. Her roles in movies include Life Above All and Hijack Stories. She appeared in the Netflix Original series, How To Ruin Christmas: The Wedding and its sequels, How To Ruin Christmas: The Funeral and How To Ruin Christmas: The Babyshower.

Rami is also a singer and recording artist, her album From Fear To Love was released in 2014. She is a published author and her memoir, We Kissed The Sun And Embraced The Moon, was published in 2015. She has recently translated veteran author, Professor Es’kia Mphahlele’s novel, Father Come Home, into her native language, Sepedi. In addition to being an actress, singer and author, Rami is a sought after speaker, voice-over artist and MC who has hosted many stage, corporate and TV shows and events. Rami is passionate about being a philanthropist and doing good through her foundation, Rami Chuene Foundation.

Ayanda Sibisi

Ayanda Sibisi was born and raised in KwaNdengezi, Durban. She obtained her National Diploma in Drama studies at the Durban University of Technology. She’s an actress, musician and the Development Executive Producer at Eyethu Films. In a nutshell, Ayanda is an all-around creative who is enthusiastic about arts and passionate about storytelling. Her tv roles include The Herd as MaMzobe the cynical witch, the hilarious romantic comedy “Hawema!” where she played the role of Lindi the go getter. She portrayed the role of Fikani’s mother on 7 de Laan and has had a handful of guest appearances on The Queen, Rockville and SABC1’s 13 Weeks to find Mr Right. She was a contestant on the highly competitive television show Top Actor.

As a theatre practitioner she has worked on various musicals. In 2011 she joined the cast of Cinderella at the Playhouse Theatre. She starred in the stage musical piece Beauty and the Beast as Madame De La Grande Bouche where she got nominated for the best newcomer at the Mercury Durban Theatre Awards. She played the king’s most trusted adviser Rafiki in the internationally acclaimed Lion King at the theatre of the wild in Disneyland, Hong Kong. In 2018 she took on the role of Church Lady Jarene in Alice Walker’s musical version of The Color Purple which received 13 nominations and won 7 of those awards at the Naledi awards in 2019. In 2022 she was nominated for best music video at the 15th Crown Gospel Awards for her hit gospel Amapiano song called Bayede which is currently on high rotation on several radio stations across the country. Her most recent musical production was Third World Express where she starred as the lead (The Queen).

Ayanda is currently putting final touches of her first studio album which will feature a massive storm of hits. There is no stopping this formidable talent and her time is NOW!!

Siyasanga Papu

Siyasanga is a multitalented actress and songstress who has been involved in productions in both theatre and film for over almost 20 years. In 2005 she was part of a production called NewTown. She went on to perform in Relativity: Township Story which played at multiple South African art festivals, later showcasing in Vienna (Austria), the Scotland Fringe and then touring 10

different cities in the UK .

Her other theatre work includes The Wizard of OZ, Jock of the Bushveld, and SATATOO. She played the lead in MARIKANA The Musical for which she got a Naledi Award nomination. She went to get yet another Naledi Award nomination in 2019 for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical for the show she did called Santa Clause is coming to town. In 2022 she joined the cast of the award-winning play called Xova where she played the lead role of Zukiswa. In 2017 she was invited by Dr. Jonas Gwangwa to sing a special rendition at ex-president Thabo Mbeki’s 75th birthday celebration. She did a Cape Town tour of the famous 50s musical called KING KONG The Musical.

She has been in Usindiso (2007), Rhythm City (2008-2009), AMANDLA, 8 MINUETS, 1606, while playing lead on some films for the small screen such as 10 Steps to Make Him Propose, Forget About It and Iizintombi Zodwa. She appeared as Mpumi, a journalist, on Generations The Legacy on SABC 1. Siyasanga was also in the TV series called THE HERD 1&2 broadcast on Mzanzi. She portrayed the role of Fezeka in Isibaya in 2018 and has just finished the 4-year run of Gomora where she portrayed Pretty Molefe – one of the lead characters for which she got a Royal Soapie Award nomination.

She currently has a 5 piece band called MOLO based in Pretoria.

Pulane Rampoana

Puli is a versatile artist with over 17 years of experience in the industry, excelling as an actor, singer, dancer, and vocal coach. She has graced international musical shows like Dreamgirls, Cabaret, and Rocky Horror, while making significant contributions to local productions such as The Hill, Mosali Eo U Nneileng Eena, Jock Of The Bushveld, and Reik Na Die Sterre.

Her musical journey includes noteworthy performances like Bidvest 2015 with Vicky Sampson and Swing City. Puli has shared the stage with acclaimed artists like Thandiswa Mazwai and Ernie Smith, showcasing her talent at Embassies around Pretoria for events attended by government delegates, ambassadors, and ministers. A highlight in her musical career was performing at an event attended by African Jazz legends Ntate Caiphus Semenya and Mama Letta Mbuli.

Beyond music, Puli actively engages in television and radio, contributing as a translator, producer, actor, and voiceover artist. Her recent television series, Lioness, remains available for viewing on DStv.

Nambitha Mpumlwana

Nambitha Mpumlwana is a South African actress best known for her leading roles in the television series Shado’sInterrogation Room and The Lab; and for her role in the Oscar-winning South African feature film Tsotsi.

She quickly established an acting and presenting career in South Africa starting as a continuity presenter for SABC television before joining the SABC 2 wildlife show 50/50 as a presenter.

Nambitha presented the SABC 2 shows Lebone and Practical Parenting, as well as the SABC 3 show Money. She has performed in the feature films Tama Ba? Tama Na! (1993}, Crazy Joe’s Coco,

Land of a Thousand HillsBeyond Borders (2003}, Country of My Skull (2004}, Red Dust (2004)

and Tsotsi (2005).

In October 2007 Nambitha won the Golden Horn award for Best Actress in a TV Drama at the second annual SAFTAs for her role as Pearl Lusipho in the SABC 3 drama series The Lab. She has also been nominated for a SAFTA Golden Horn for Best Actress in TV Soap for Generations (1993). In November, 2009 Nambitha returned to 7de Laan in her role as Zandile.

She has performed in numerous theatre productions, including The Dead WaitBlack Age, WhaleIn Search of Dragon’s Mountain, Love and Other Strange ThingsBeauty and the Beast of OracleApart, The Power of Harriett T, Business of Health, See Here! It’s Africa and The Caribbean.

Les Nkosi

Les Nkosi is a passionate creative-change-practitioner through arts therapies, research and facilitation as well as an entrepreneur. He holds a Master’s degree through Wits University. His experience in facilitation and behavior-change spans well over 20 years. Les spent most of his career in the arts playing roles of support, either as a producer, director or a friend of an artist.

Les is a recipient of Wits University’s Marshal Kander Award for Most Outstanding Research. He has forged relationships with the Wits Centre for Diversity Studies (WiCDS) in creating meaningful transformation processes in race relations and change.

His portfolio of work on screen incudes, playing varying roles of support in popular television including Scandal, Working On It, Stout, The River, Generations the Legacy, The Docket, Sokhulu and Partners, and Isibaya. His theatre work includes directing Come As you Are (CAYA) at the Soweto Theatre and

Jobe at the Joburg Theatre. The Cry of Winnie Mandela will be Les’ first stage role as an actor – he is exceptionally excited to be part of this production. 

Hey Hillbrow! Let’s Dlala! 2024

Hey Hillbrow! Let’s Dlala! 2024

Imaginary Lines - None are free until all are free.

This year Hey Hillbrow! Let’s Dlala! will take place on Africa Day, the 25th May 2024.

The parade started in 2016, an event for Hillbrow, initiated by the late super-heroine Lesley Perkes, who had dreams for this place that others have continued to manifest. We continued in 2017 and 2018 and then relaunched the event on Human Rights Day in 2022. Last year, we invited Kyla Davis (Well Worn Theatre) Tamzyn Botha (Shade) and Daniel Buckland to curate and manage the 2023 iteration of the street procession in collaboration with the Kwasha! Theatre Company as part of our Africa Month Festival. 

This year under the creative direction of Tamzyn Botha and Daniel Buckland the streets around Windybrow will come alive to celebrate the theme of Imaginary Lines – None are free until all are free. 

Hey Hillbrow! Let’s Dlala! is a parade of fabulous public performances bringing joy, play and wonder to the streets of Hillbrow on Africa Day, 25 May 2024. Emphasising the connections made with various local community organisations, artists and participants.

Five wonderful facilitators, namely Daniel Buckland, Exotically Divine, Sinenhlanhla Mgeyi, Khathala Nkomo and Andrew Wispa worked alongside Kwasha! Theatre Company with community groups Lefika La Phodiso, Gcebile Dlamini Foundation and Johannesburg Society for the Blind, Fight with Insight, Innovation of Excellence and Dlala Nje. Months of work curating costumed performances and curated happenings that drew inspiration from our theme by exploring the merging of worlds and the lines that connect us all. 

We are joined further with performances and collaborations by local organisations and artists namely MES, Shade Youth Art Programme, African Reclaimers Organisation, George’s Boxing Gym, Johannesburg Awakening Minds, Three2Six, ToGaTa, Ezase-Vaal Brass band, Sentech Croozers, Windybrows’s Choir, Marimba players in partnership with marimba Jam and Literacy Group, facilitated by Sisaxhoba Magama, Sue-Anne Hamer and Devorah Rothman – UJ Art Therapy Honours students), David Gara and The Cirk. 

The parade returns to ignite the possibilities of community action and connection when artists, makers and youth come together to showcase a shared sense of collective dreaming to shine a light on the importance of public space, by utilizing surprise and provocation as a tool for connection and collective awareness. 

In bringing these groups together, the Windybrow Arts Centre expresses its commitment to developing genuine and reciprocal relationships with its neighbours, and by offering a space for young people to explore the arts. It also introduces Kwasha! Theatre Company to the neighbourhood in which it will work, play, teach, and perform this year.

We receive support from Ekhaya CID, Badboys Security, Hillbrow Police, Assitej South Africa, Joburg Photowalkers and the City of Johannesburg.

Save the date – because the 25th of May we will pay an homage to the imaginary lines that weave and hold the narratives that connect us all. 

Ballaké Sissoko and Derek Gripper: A New African String Theory

Ballaké Sissoko and Derek Gripper: A New African String Theory

Ballaké Sissoko and Derek Gripper play at the Market Theatre as part of their very first SA tour, on the back of concerts in the US, Turkey, France, Switzerland and Sweden, they finally make it back home.

Malian virtuoso Ballaké Sissoko has taken over the mantle of the greatest touring kora player. Derek Gripper is South Africa’s leading guitarist whose love of the kora set him transcribing and recording some of its greatest works. “In the complex web of theme and variations spun by Sissoko’s twenty-two strings and Gripper’s six, a new African string theory is elaborated.

In collaboration with the Alliance Francais and Air


Malian virtuoso Ballaké Sissoko has taken over the mantle of the greatest touring kora player. Derek Gripper is South Africa’s leading guitarist whose love of the kora set him transcribing and recording some of its greatest works. “In the complex web of theme and variations spun by Sissoko’s

twenty-two strings and Gripper’s six, a new African string theory is elaborated.

Interval: 15 minutes


BandaBanda Agency in association with the Market Theatre Presents  Jazz in Afrika Concert 

BandaBanda Agency in association with the Market Theatre Presents Jazz in Afrika Concert

BandaBanda Agency produces yet another show in association with the Market Theatre as a double Bill between to Artist BandaBanda & The Crocodiles  and Keenan Meyer. This will be a great celebration of African music as we end Africa Month. 
BandaBanda & TheCrocodiles Project 
This Project is an idea of putting great Versatile Musicians from different Parts of the world as collaborations. Banda is Known for the love of music and his unique way of approaching the bass which made him to stand out.
Spending time with Bheki Mseleku and Sandile Shange contributed on his growth and taste in music music,  He got to work and tour with top artist like Sibongile Khumalo ,Hugh Masikela ,Busi Mhlongo, Madala Kunene, Thandiswa Mazwai to mention the Few. 
With the diverse influences of different cultures and backgrounds we can expect something with a lot of influence yet exciting. BandaBanda is always been out spoken about being an African and the  African voice to be heard all over the world. That always turn to come out on his Music.
Between all this musicians there is a lot of experience and diversity which makes this project very exciting .The music is written and arranged by BandaBanda. We Fuse  African Music,Funk,Jazz and Latin,  Influences to the sound are bands like  Sixun,TaiwaMolelekwa , Joe Zawinul and the Syndicate, Miles Davis , Manu Dibago ,Salif Keita ,Weather Report. “Its the Music for the World”.
“Tell your real story and everyone will hear you”
BandaBanda & TheCrocodiles Project  “African Stories”
Keenan Meyer
Born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, Keenan Meyer is a classically trained pianist, composer and Mandela Rhodes scholar. Meyer has had a lifelong relationship with music. From attending concerts produced in his hometown of Bosmont as a young boy, to graduating from the University of Pretoria with a Bachelor of Music Degree majoring in music psychology and piano methodology in 2018.
His study of Impressionistic composers such as Ravel and Debussy combined with the melodic elegance of the Romantic style in Rachmaninoff’s music among others, undeniably influenced his performance style and the composition of his own music.
An equally important influence is Meyer’s research on music in South Africa. As part of his Honours degree, he produced a dissertation that examined the role of music in two significant periods of South African history: the fight against apartheid, and the #FeesMustFall movement.
He gained a deeper understanding of music’s ability to galvanise human consciousness, a central theme in his debut body of work, The Alchemy of Living.
Meyer also developed a deeper connection to South African Jazz and Jazz icons specifically the tonal palette and spirituality of Abdullah Ibrahim’s music.
This background and experience has shaped Meyer’s career and creative output. Meyer’s debut album is a deeply personal snapshot of his journey thus far. It pays tribute to the music he grew up listening to, his travels around Asia and South America, South Africa’s musical traditions and ancestry, and the composers he has studied and loves.

NYO Jazz

NYO Jazz

Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Jazz Orchestra

@Photo credit: Todd Rosenberg

Sean Jones – Artistic Director, Trumpet, and Bandleader

With special guest Alicia Olatuja – Vocals

And featuring South African artists:
Linda Sikhakhane – Saxophone (26 July at 7pm and 27 July at 3pm)
Romy Brauteseth – Bass (27 July at 7pm and 28 July at 3pm)

For the very first time in Africa, hear the brand-new lineup of NYO Jazz as they perform under the leadership of trumpet great Sean Jones. This remarkable ensemble, created by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute in 2018, annually brings together some of the most outstanding teen jazz musicians from across the United States, following a comprehensive and highly competitive audition process, to train, perform, and tour with some of the world’s greatest artists while also serving as music ambassadors to audiences around the globe.  This season, NYO Jazz welcomes guest vocalist Alicia Olatuja, who has been praised by The New York Times as “a singer with a strong and luscious tone”.

The diverse programme will include a Carnegie Hall-commissioned work by South African composer Sibusiso Mash Mashiloane, big band classics by Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Mary Lou Williams, and new arrangements, as NYO Jazz showcases jazz as a living and limitless art form.

NYO Jazz’s historic visit to South Africa will include debut performances in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town, and marks the first time that one of Carnegie Hall’s three acclaimed national youth ensembles will perform on the African continent. It follows successful international tours by NYO Jazz to some of the most prestigious concert halls and music festivals across Europe, Asia, and the United States.

“The group… performs at a level of musicianship far beyond their years.” – Washington Informer

“You could be pretty confident you were hearing some stars of tomorrow” – The Times, UK

Presented by Carnegie Hall in association with the Market Theatre.

Tour produced by Arte Viva Management.


Duration: 2 x 45 minute sets with interval.

Tickets available from Webtickets.

For reduced-price block bookings (of 10 or more) and school groups, contact Anthony Ezeoke, (Audience Development), at or 083 246 4950 , Mamello khomongoe 0815729612

General enquiries:

Media enquiries:

To learn more about NYO Jazz, visit
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NYO Jazz 
2024 Roster

Sean Jones – Artistic Director, Bandleader and Trumpet

@Photo by Todd Rosenberg

Alicia Olatuja – Vocals

@ Photo by Harrison Weinstein Photography

NYO Jazz
**Prior NYO Jazz member

Miriam Goroff-Behel, alto saxophone
Isaac Hanson, alto saxophone
Gustavo Cruz, tenor saxophone
Paloma Ximena, tenor saxophone
Ethan Kasparian Weisman, baritone saxophone

Alex Hong, trumpet
Theodore Peebles, trumpet
Lucas Rivero, trumpet
Preston W. Rupert, trumpet **
Skylar Tang, trumpet **

Jordan Klein, trombone
Priyanka Magavi, trombone
Bishesh Paudel, trombone
Ava Siu, bass trombone

Vincent Maclauchlan, guitar **
Miles Oppinger, guitar
Carter Bryan, piano
Jasper Zimmerman, piano
Ruby Farmer, bass **
Rayah Thomas, bass
Ethan Oliver, drums
Benjamin Schwartz, drums **

* * * * *

About NYO Jazz

Each US summer, NYO Jazz, led by artistic director Sean Jones, shines a spotlight on the depth of talent found among teen jazz players across the United States. The programme offers talented young musicians, ages 16–19, the opportunity to perform as cultural ambassadors for their country, sharing a uniquely American musical genre with people around the world through an international tour. The members of NYO Jazz have been recognized by Carnegie Hall as being among the finest jazz musicians in the country, following a rigorous and highly competitive audition process.

Since its debut in 2018, NYO Jazz has performed at Carnegie Hall and embarked on acclaimed tours across Europe, Asia, and the United States. Guest artists in past seasons have included vocalists Dianne Reeves, Kurt Elling, Jazzmeia Horn, and Dee Bridgewater. As part of their travel schedule, NYO Jazz musicians also have opportunities to meet and collaborate with young local musicians and experience the richness of different cultures and music.

In 2021, during NYO Jazz’s annual training residency at Purchase College, State University of New York, the band recorded its first full length studio album under the direction of artistic director and bandleader Sean Jones and featuring special guest saxophonist Melissa Aldana. It includes Carnegie Hall-commissioned works for the ensemble from each year of the program exploring themes including social justice, resilience, and the power of music to spark joy. The album, entitled We’re Still Here, was released in June 2022.

NYO Jazz builds on the success of the acclaimed National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA) and its sister ensemble for younger musicians NYO2—created by Carnegie Hall in 2013 and 2016, respectively—to bring together the finest young classical musicians from across the country each summer for training, performances and touring. Each of these prestigious national programmes—free to all participants—is dedicated to the proposition that talented young musicians thrive when they have the opportunity to expand their musical, social, and cultural horizons and share their artistry with audiences around the globe.

Lead Donors: Hope and Robert F. Smith, The Kovner Foundation, and Beatrice Santo Domingo.  

Global Ambassadors: Michael ByungJu Kim and Kyung Ah Park, Hope and Robert F. Smith, and Maggie and Richard Tsai.

Major support has been provided by Veronica Atkins, Mercedes T. Bass, Ronald E. Blaylock and Petra Pope, Clive and Anya Gillinson, Melanie and Jean E. Salata, Sarah Billinghurst Solomon and Howard Solomon, and Joyce and George Wein Foundation, Inc.

Additional support has been provided by the Alphadyne Foundation, Sarah Arison, Stella and Robert Jones, Martha and Robert Lipp, Beth and Joshua Nash, and David S. Winter.

NYO Jazz is made possible, in part, by an endowment grant from the Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme Foundation.

Dlala Wena: Saturday Showcases 

Dlala Wena: Saturday Showcases

The Market Lab is excited to announce a return of the Saturday Showcases, Dlala Wena!

Many moons ago, theatre practitioners from all around Johannesburg would gather at the Market Lab on a Saturday and present their work-in-progress to an open audience for constructive criticism and artistic input. This year, the Lab team will host two showcases, one in May and one in August – open to creatives between the ages of 16 – 35. You’re invited to secure your place and showcase an extract of your new creative project by clicking on the link below and we’ll provide you with a date.  

Be brave and let’s play!