25th Annual SAWAF

The Playhouse Company proudly presents
the 25th Annual South African Women’s Art Festival!

EXCITING drama, music, dance as well as fashion, topical community conversation platforms and fun, free entertainment have been confirmed by The Playhouse Company for their 25th Annual South African Women’s Arts Festival, an event coinciding with August being Women’s Month.

Celebrating works performed, created, or inspired by women, this year’s event will be held, at The Playhouse Company from 6 August to 19 September 2021. The Festival is an annual highlight on the calendar of The Playhouse Company, an agency of the Department of Arts and Culture, which embraces the government’s principles of social cohesion and nation-building.

The festival will kick off with a Sundowners Series Concert – An afternoon treat of jazz and slam poetry! These concerts will take place, from the 06th till the 19th of September, every Friday & Saturday afternoon. On the 06th of August at 17h00 the concert will feature Pretty Olifant & Victor Sithole and on the 7th of August at 15h00, The legendary Madala Kunene, with KB’s Manu & some of the best local poets to compliment the ambiance.

Among the Festival’s offerings, this year is Kamphoer, featuring South African theatre legend Sandra Prinsloo. Based on a true story, Prinsloo appears in the challenging role of Susan Nell, who faced an unspeakable ordeal during the Anglo-Boer War in the Winburg concentration camp. Susan is brutally raped and left for dead. She qualifies as a psychiatric nurse and sixteen years later during the First World War, her paths cross again with one of her rapists. Susan is once again confronted with the pain and humiliation of her past. Kamphoer will be staged from 19 – 22 August and ticket prices are R100 and R30 for the school performance.

Directed by the legendary Bheki Mkhwane, Nongogo, originally written by internationally acclaimed SA playwright Athol Fugard, will hit The Playhouse Company Drama Stage with shows running from 28 August to 04 September. Set in a shebeen outside of Johannesburg in the 1950s, the play focuses on the life of a shebeen queen who was once a prostitute. The production highlights some of the most thought-provoking topics about women. Tickets for this must-see stage treat are R100 and R30 for school performances and can be bought at the Playhouse box-office or online via Web Tickets.


Also, a must-see is Seven Ways To Say Goodbye, a dance production by The Flatfoot Company. The contemporary dance piece explores the highs and lows of different human relationships during a global pandemic where self-isolation and social distancing are the new norms. Seven Ways To Say Goodbye from the 15th to the 19tht of September. Tickets cost R70 and R30 for school performances.

Another dance production set to ignite the Playhouse Opera Theatre stage is The Awakening – Rebirth, running from 15 to 19 September. Sunnyboy Mandla Motau has just been appointed Associate Artistic Director for Moving into Dance. He has been quoted as saying “If I could say it in words, then there would be no reason to dance.  At MID I have grown to be a responsible, artistic being and a leader.  I have learnt to master not only movement and choreography but the teaching and development of dance entrepreneurs through my 13 years at here.  This appointment is another milestone for me as I continue to grow the MID name as an Associate Artistic Director.”

This contemporary dance piece, featuring the Phakama Dance Theatre and MID, is choreographed by the renowned Sunnyboy Motau and is not to be missed. Tickets for this production cost R100 and R30 for school performances.

The Festival’s music highlight will be the Imbokodo Maskandi Concert at 15h00 on August 14, in the Playhouse’s Opera Theatre. This concert will highlight such glittering talents as Vumile Mngoma, Ama Yellow Bones, Buselaphi Gxowa,Annah Mlotshwa & Ngenzeni Ntanzi. Tickets for the Imbokodo Maskandi Concert cost R70.00.

Among free festival, events will be Test Driving the Arts at 13h00 and 17h00 Women Series Concerts taking place throughout the festival period in The Playhouse Cellar.

From 12 to 21 August, the spotlight will be on some of the best that Durban has to offer with an all-women line-up including Izintombi Zetheku, Futhi Mahlasela, Afro Divas, Xolisa Dlamini, Randy McLlolan, Shiela The Blue Note”, Sky Wanda, Debbie Mari, Angel Zondo, Kerry Cherry, Simthandile Mtolo, Susan Barry, Noma Khumalo, and Thulile Zama.

A spectacular display of fashion and art will be in the Playhouse Foyer from 13 to 28 August with the Nguni Shades Fashion Exhibition. The exhibition pays tribute to late African Queens representing their strength and beauty through stunning fashion designs. Entry is free.

The Festival aims to shine a light on social issues affecting women with productions such as 10 Days In A Shebeen written  by Musawenkosi Shabalala and Bongumusa Shabalala, and directed by Musawenkosi Shabalala, taking place on 13 and 14 August respectively & Zion written by Nthieng Makgoro, directed by Phephelani Mzimela on the 27th & 28th of August.

The Playhouse Company’s Test Driving the Arts concerts provides a unique platform for up-and-coming artists to showcase their skills to a live audience featuring Amaqhathanzipho and Isibani on 11 August at 13h00 in the Playhouse Cellar. Entry is free.

Community Conversation sessions tackling Gender-Based Violence, have been scheduled for noon on August 21, in the Alhambra Room. The session topic” Challenging Arts to find and create building material on the scourge of GBV”, by industry experts like  Nana Ngobese and, Dr. Stella Khumalo

Showcasing our Community Arts Mentorship Program, the mentee’s will be staging on 13 -14 August at 14h30 in the Playhouse Drama Theatre “Sizwe Banzi is Dead”  written by Athol Fugard and co-authored by John Kani and Winston Ntshona, the two actors who originally appeared in the play as Styles and Sizwe Bansi.  They tell the story of Styles, an intelligent, capable, and talented man who leaves his job as a factory worker to follow his dream of owning a photography studio.

Another Community Conversation titled Woman to Woman will spark some exciting discussions around the theme – Wealth & Self Worth. The event will be facilitated by media personality Zanele Mbokazi together with a variety of female panelists: Essay Reddy, Jacinta Ngobese & Thobe Mtshali. The conversation aims to re-engineer the minds of Women so that they may believe in themselves and equip themselves to be financially, mentally, and spiritually healthy.


All tickets can be purchased at The Playhouse Company’s box-office – phone (031) 3699 596/40 – or online via Web Tickets. Discounted parking is available at The Royal Hotel parkade.

For further information on the Festival call (031) 3699596/ 9540.