Zabalaza Theatre Festival 2021

A highlight on the Baxter’s annual calendar, the Zabalaza Festival returns for its 11th edition, with crisp and creative entertainment making this year’s programme one that is not to be missed.

    Golden Arrow Studio Theatre/Flipside Concert Hall


Fri 19

  18:00 Opening ceremony    


Sat 20

  10:00 The Magic shell/ Uselwa Lemilingo AHA!  
  10:30     Is dit jou Ma se huis die?
  11:00 Deadly escape Against all odds  
  11:30     Who to blame (Nelisa & Sonwabo)
  19:00 Heads or Tail(s)    


Mon 22

  10:00 The Magic shell/ Uselwa Lemilingo Black spade  
  10:30     Freedom of tomorrow
  11:00 Tainted Ndibulale ntwalo  
  11:30     Isithembiso
  19:00 Lide Ndithule    


Tue 23

  10:00 Ganga nyoko! Inzima nyoko! Umzi unzima  
  10:30     Blood on the road
  11:00 Gevange in de Doorns Nditshate  
  11:30     Thank you for your service
  19:00 Against all odds    


Wed 24

  10:00 Vortex McGregor must die  
  10:30     Episodes uit Belville
  11:00 Ilifa AHA!  
  11:30     Two Sides
  19:00 Deadly escape    


Thur 25

  10:00 The Magic shell/ Uselwa Lemilingo Umzi unzima  
  10:30     Is dit jou Ma se huis die?
  11:00 Heads or Tail(s) Ndibulale ntwalo  
  11:30     Blood on the road
  19:00 Vortex    


Fri 26

  10:00 Who to blame (Luvuyo Gonono) AHA!  
  10:30     Who to blame (Nelisa & Sonwabo)
  11:00 Gevange in de Doorns McGregor must die must die  
  11:30     Episodes uit Bellville
  19:00 Tainted    


Sat 27

  13:00 Awards ceremony    


Against the odds

Main Theatre: 20 March 11:00
Golden Arrow Studio: 23 March 19:00
Presented by: Project 021
Written by: Donique Smith & Rameez Petersen
Directed by: David Cornelson
Performed by: Rameez Petersen, Donique Smith, Mikyle Moses, Tiffany Bell, Zion De Oor, Zara Mansfield, Zinnia-Rose Petersen
Language: ​English
Ages: All ages
The Williams family is an average income family living in a middle to lower class “coloured” community. Oscar and Michelle were high school sweethearts whose love has endured. The couple have 3 children together and the consequences of substance abuse thrust this family into unimaginable depths. Will the strong bond of love bring an end to this season of misery? Or will the dreams of a “happily ever after” end with shattered lives?


Main Theatre: 20 March 10:00 | 24 March 11:00 | 26 March 10:00 Presented by​: ​The Company of AHA!
Written by: Nwabisa Plaatjie & Company
Directed by: Nwabisa Plaatjie

Performed by: Luthando Mvandaba, Beviol Swartz, Emmanuel Nstamba, Zizipho Quluba Language: English
Age: All ages
A box appears on an empty stage. What could be inside? AHA! Wool. Pulling out a thread the actors weave themselves and the audience into a wondrous world of wool. This playful performance explores what wool can do, what we can make from it, how we can play with it and how the shapes that it makes can stimulate the imagination.

Black spade

Main Theatre: 22 March 10:00
Presented by: Qhayiya The Pride
Written by: Abongile Zwedala
Directed by: Abongile Zwedala
Performed by: Gugulethu Jozi, Mawethu Nkonya, Yandisa Nondwayi, Mihle Mfeki, Yongamela Lumnko, Abongile matomela, Lubabalo Zanazo, Stanly Mbatyazwa

Language: Xhosa Ages: All ages

Xhosa Chief Zanelizwe is betrayed by his younger brother who sells him out to foreign, white men. The chief’s son Phathilizwe seeks revenge for his father’s murder. He accomplishes this by becoming a geologist and dethroning his backstabbing uncle.

Blood on the road

Concert Hall: 23 March 10:30 | 25 March 11:30 ​Presented by: Blood on the road company Written by: Olwethu Thwetsha
Directed by: Wendy Mrali

Performed by: Olwethu Thwetsha, Anda Ngeva, Thethelela Mgumbi, Siseko Ntshaba, Azaxole Mtholo, Emihle Makinana, Lihle Njaba
Language Xhosa
Age: 13

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. What happens when one suffers from the consequences of others' reaction? Blood on the road is all about what happens when anger builds up because of the past, how easy it is for one to fake love when they have hidden agendas.

Deadly escape

Golden Arrow: 20 March 11:00 | 24 March 19:00 Presented by: H.M.P
Written by: Sandisiwe Qaji
Directed by: Sandisiwe Qaji

Performed by: Adadume Ngxaki, Lilly K Matau, Sandisiwe Qaji
Language: English
Age: 13
Following the story of Lindiwe and Khanyiswa in Orange Mountain, Deadly Escape explores what they are willing to do for their freedom. They are captured and held hostage to produce boy-children for men in order to continue a war no one chose to fight.

Episodes uit Bellville

Concert Hall: 24 March 10:30 | 26 March 11:30 ​Presented by: Lekker Jy Ensemble
Written by: Tyron Zoutman
Directed by: Tyron Zoutman

Performed: by Logan Cornelius, Lauren Philander, Junaid Koopman, Marunzo Thomas, Lise-Mari van Wyk, Marunzo Thomas, Patwill Titus, Jaden Philander, Whaden Johannes, Keesha Pretorius, Abduraghmaan De Vries
Language: Afrikaans

Age: 13

AFR: Voortrekker weg. Die gejaag van motor en mens. Episodes uit Bellville is ‘n lag met traan stuk wat handel oor die stories wat mens dikwels nie eintlik wil hoor nie... ‘n Stuk oor die strate wat onder die alledaagse besigheidswêreld hardloop, ‘n stuk oor omkoopgeld en hoe dit mense stil hou, oor donker geheime en die dun lyn tussen skuld en onskuld.

ENG: Voortrekker Road. The rush of cars and human beings. Episodes uit Bellville is a laugh-with-tears piece that deals with the stories you often don't want to hear ... about the streets bustling with everyday business - the bribes and how people remain quiet about them, about dark secrets and the fine line between guilt and innocence.

Freedom of tomorrow

Concert Hall: 22 March 10:30
​Presented by: Inkwenkwezi Art Organisation
Written by: Boniwe Ngantweni
Directed by: Asithandile Lucas Mbali & Mzwanele Papiyana
Performed by: Sinako Zamatyala , Liyema Nkohla, Inathi Mbali , Emihle Banyana, Rethabile Poto female , Miranda Poto, Aphelele Masimini, Khanide Sityebi, Sanele Rayi, Okuhle Potelwa, Lwandle Ngantweni, Athabile mlenzana, Masibone Ntabankulu, Sisipho Zwelibanzi, Esona Gojana
Language: Xhosa
Ages: All
Four sisters are in a sibling rivalry in a school where the eldest is the teacher and the youngest a genius while the other two are rebels. After finding out that the genius will inherit their late father’s wealth, they decide to get rid of her. The story takes on the backdrop of family members lost due to farm killings.

Ganga nyoko! Inzima nyoko!

Golden Arrow Studio: 23 March 10:00
​Presented by: The company GangaNyoko! Inzima Nyoko!
Written by: Sibuyiselo Dywili
Directed by: Siphenathi Qwayi
Performed by: Siyamthanda Bangani,Sibuyiselo Dywili
Language: Xhosa & English
Close friends who have not seen each other in seven years have decided to reconnect. They discover bold differences between them and the secret surface. It seems like their friendship is nearing an end. Will this result in permanent separation or will their friendship be salvaged?

Gevange in de Doorns

​Golden Arrow Studio: 23 March 11:00 | 26 March 11:00 Presented by: New Born Artists
Written by: Abronine Barlow
Directed by: Abronine Barlow

Performed by: Zinedine Manus
Language: Afrikaans
Age: 13
AFR: Earl Donson, ‘n tiener wat nog sy hele lewe voor hom het, het ‘n “taste” of life gekry toe sy liefde vir rugby vir hom die geleentheid gegee het om in die Kaap te gaan speel, iets waaroor hy baie opgewonde was. Tog, word hy vasgevang in De Doorns, tussen al sy probleme, mense en totaal en al verlore na sy ma se dood. Alles voel asof dit buite die waarheid lê, ‘n blote ‘illusion’, ‘n droom. Of is dit dalk die waarheid self?

ENG: Earl Donson, a teenager who has his whole life ahead of him, was given a "taste" of life when his passion for rugby granted him the opportunity to play in Cape Town and for which he was very excited about. Yet he gets caught up in De Doorns, with all his problems and people. He is totally lost after his mother's death. Everything feels seems like it is outside of his own reality, like a dream or an illusion. Or is that perhaps the truth itself?

Heads or Tail(s)?

Golden Arrow Studio: 20 March 19:00 | 25 March 11:00
Presented by: Heads or Tail(s) Ensemble
Written by: Stephren Saayman & Ntandazo Christiaan Peter
Directed by: Robyn September and Thembela Madliki
Performed by: Ntandazo Peter, Nekita HIll, Stephren Saayman,Melanie Scholtz Language: English,Afrikaans & Xhosa

Age: 13
A pious Christian, Hannah gives birth to two beautiful twins, Julia and Julian and takes in a third child without her husband's consent. Her marriage takes a slight turn for the worst- dissolving her household into a matriarchal state. Now that her children are all grown, they seek the truth behind their father’s death and her adopted son seeks his true identity. Everyone has their own questions but on which side of the coin will the truth land, Heads or Tail(s)?


Golden Arrow Studio: 24 March 11:00
​Presented by: umTiyopiya
Written by: Ayabonga Bebe
Directed by: Qhawe Ncamani
​Performed by: Lusanda Soboyise & Ayabonga Bebe Language: Xhosa

Age: 13
Determined to break the cycle of abuse, Luvuyo vows never to bring a child into this world,but his mission is cut short when his girlfriend becomes pregnant. He is in a battle as he tries to destroy the demons he inherited from his father.

Is dit jou ma se huis die?

Concert Hall: 20 March 10:30 | 25 March 10:30 ​Presented by: Is Dit Jou Ma Se Huis Die? Productions Written by: Courtneigh Adams
Directed by: Courtneigh Adams

Performed by: Caitlyn Gordon, Courtniegh Adams, Candice Alicia Consani, Khecia Jacobs Language: Afrikaans & English
AFR: In ‘n klein, intieme sel in Pollsmoor-gevangenis ontmoet ons drie vroue, Lucy, Candice en Sam. Elkeen dra met hulle, hulle eie “baggage” saam en niemand is bereid om dit met die ander te deel nie. Wanneer daar ‘n vierde vrou, Amy, opdaag word history ontbloot en word die sel ‘n battle vir wie in beheer gaan wees. Saam word die idee van boundaries, consent, vriendskap en liefde ontdek en word daar besef dat die tronk “regtig nie hulle ma se huis is nie”.

ENG: In a tiny, intimate cell in Pollsmoor Prison, three inmates Lucy, Candice and Sam, each carrying their own "baggage". No-one is willing to share it with the others. When a fourth woman, Amy, shows up, history is revealed and the cell becomes a battle for who is going to be in charge. Boundaries, consent, friendship and love are tested and discovered, only to realise that prison is "really not their mother's house".


Concert Hall: 22 March 11:30
Presented by: Isithembiso Ensemble
Written by: Siyabonga Nyaniso
Directed by: Siyabonga Nyaniso
Performed by: Afrika khoza, Sesihle masimini, Siphosethu Vundisa, Xolani siximba
Language: Xhosa & English
Age: 13
Ntsika vowed to protect and provide for his siblings after they lost their parents,but when they grow up he finds himself lost with no purpose in life.

Lide ndithule

Golden Arrow: 22 March 19:00
Presented by: Teachmaling Women’s Project
Written by: Nontembiso Ndwandwe
Directed by: Nontembiso Ndwandwe
Performed: Nontembiso Ndwandwe, Nosiviwe Vuyelele, Yibanathi Sihlali, Snalo Qokoyi, Sisipho Geni, Sfiso Nkosi, Khoza
Language: Xhosa
Age: 13
Set in Goodwood, Lide Ndithule follows a quarrel between siblings, caused by an aunt who despises their mother. When her husband dies, we see her true colours as her pent-up anger explodes.

McGregor must die

Main Theatre: 24 March 10:00 | 26 March 11:00
Presented by: Uloyiko NPC
Written by: Ayanda Manala Sibindi, Andisiwe Sibindi & Yanga Mhluzi
Directed by: Siphelo Mtshetsha
Performed by: Sinethemba Bugqwangu, Sisipho Nontywili, Akho Zuzani, Vuyolwethu Mtwana, Bonani Ngamlana, Zizipho Ndikandika, Banele Mila,Audrey Skosana and Lindokuhle Mnini
Language: English, Xhosa
Age: All
Set in the Cape Town, the play shows a love story threatened by racial prejudice. Sizwe must choose between his girlfriend Felicia, who is white and his grandfather's quest for revenge. It is a battle between love and reparations for hate crimes committed during apartheid. He stands to risk what he values the most and get hurt in the process.

Ndibulale ntwalo

Main Theatre: 22 March 11:00 | 25 March 11:00 ​Presented by: Ndibulale Ntwalo Company Written by: Bianca Anta
Directed by: Bianca Anta

Performed by: Asiphe Maweya, Bianca Anta, Esinathi Piri,Sapla Qukuthu, Ayanfa Darhambe, Aphile Tshangase
Language: Xhosa
Age: 13

This play consists of two stories that are similar to each other. A son who is driven by greed uses a man who he thought was his father as a sacrifice and soon does the unspeakable because of guilt. On the other side a man who is known for being rich and a sweet lover is stuck between a rock and a hard place when his greed gets the better of him.

Main Theatre: 23 March 11:00
​Presented by: Themba Arts Group
Written by: Siphamandla Kapetshu & Zikhona Dalibom
Directed by: Siphamandla Kapetshu & Nomxolisi Kapetshu
Performed by: Akhule Veco, Lubabalo Mbaleki, Ntokozo Gambushe, Afika Magogotya, Sisipho Mfegu, Zikhona Dalubom, Nkosikhona Ligwa, Sesethu Pokolo, Lihle Njilo, Asiphile Khuse, Somila Vayeke, Chumani Mbontsolo, Yolanda Tyika.
Siphamandla Kapetshu & Zikhona
Language: Xhosa
Age: All
XHS: Umdlalo lona uthi nditshate usibonisa intombi ebizwa ngokuba nguNozipho isala umtshato ngezizathu ezithile kwaye ezivakalayo, uzibona ezimanya nomfana acinga ukuba uthunyelwe nguThixo uqobo kuba kubonakala ukuba unazo zonke izinto eziphathekayo. Eshiya umfana akhule naye bengabahlobo obizwa ngokuba nguLunga, kuba ke unyawo lungenampumlo izibona sele ebopheleke kulomtshato ebecinga ukuba ngokaThixo.

ENG: Nozipho rejects a marriage proposal from her childhood sweetheart, instead she decides to marry a man who she perceived as a god fearing saint. It is later revealed that what she thought was a blessed marriage is in fact a life sentence.


Golden Arrow Studio: 22 March 11:00 | 26 March 19:00
Presented by: Flowers of the Nation in Partnership with Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts, Culture & Recreation
Written by: Thabang Mboshane
Directed by: Thabang Mboshane
Performed by: Vusimuzi Nkosi, Sahile Mokoena, Sipho Shelembe, Sibusiso Mthembu, Nkosimphile Mnisi, Confidence Lukhele, Sifiso Khuzwayo, Charles Mabasa, Themba Mahlangu, Tshepang Thebe, Thabang Mboshane, Granny Mbali Ntombela, Vusumuzi Majola, Mathipa Malatji, Itumeleng Mabaso, Melusi Dlamini, Mbali Shezi, Sikhumbuzo Ngwenya, Nompumelelo Hlahla.
Language: English
Following the life of a young woman who wants to fulfil her dream in the dance world and a young man who uses poetry to escape his abusive adoptive father. Their attempts are soon threatened by dark family secrets. Tainted .... is a story about incest, toxic family relations, sexual abuse and drug addiction.

The Magic Shell/Uselwa Lemilingo

Golden Arrow Studio: 20 March 10:00 | 22 March 11:00 | 25 March 10:00 Presented by: ​Jungle Theatre Company
Written by: ​Created by company
Directed by: ​Vincent Meyburgh

Performed by: ​Vincent Meyburgh & Naledi Tlailane
Language: ​English & Xhosa
Age: Children
based on an African folktale set in ancient times on the Wild coast. The first people lived in a time before people had any stories to tell. A married couple go on a journey to find stories. The wife goes on an adventure leaving the husband to look after the home and the children. On her way she learns from various comical wild animals; she is challenged to be brave and determined and to find stories in surprizing places. The story comes to life in English and isiXhosa with original songs and innovative masks.

Thank you for your service

Concert Hall: 23 March 11:30
​Presented by: A & B Media
Written by: Aphiwe Livi & Buhle Qinga
Directed by: Aphiwe Livi & Buhle Qinga
Performed by: Aphiwe Livi & Buhle Qinga
Language: English & Xhosa
Age: All
A physical theatre piece that deals with two soldiers who were childhood friends. We see them exploring their journey in service, while unpacking their childhood days in comparison to their current lives. They focus on the trauma and side effects serving in the military had on them and their families. The story projects the voices of the fallen soldiers who died holding on to empty promises from the government.

Two Sides

Concert Hall: 24 March 11:30
​Presented by: Imbiza theatre company Written by: Nelisa Fusa & Sonwabo Mphandle Directed by: Sonwabo Mphandle

Performed by: Asemahle Ngxongxela, Lihle Xwayi, Likhona Mangaliso, Aphiwe Thunya, Aphelele Mkhumbuzi, Ongezwa Qalukubona
Language: Xhosa & English
Age: 13

The truth and the deceit that has been told to the world, begs the question to the world at large: Should women be apprehended for false rape accusations.

Umzi unzima

Main Theatre: 23 March 10:00 | 25 March 10:00
​Presented by: Harvest House Productions
Written by: Sihle Nondala
Directed by: Sihle Nondala & Sonwabo Mphandle
Performed by: Molupi Lepeli, Helena Almeida, Solulele Sijadu, Zimkhitha Mathiso, Mzoxolo Bomela

Language: Xhosa
Age: 13
An anticipated day that was supposed to bring joy in Qhamani’s life has turned tragic as he loses his wife through childbirth. While dealing with the loss he discovers that his son had incurable seizures. His sister-in-law Belinda works hard to pull him out of this darkness.


Golden Arrow Studio: 24 March 10:00 | 25 March 19:00
P​resented by: Ham No Pork
Written by: Lotanang Makoti, Nelissa Modimola and Camron Mckinnon
Directed by: Lotanang Makoti
Performed by: Nelissa Modimola and Cameron Mckinnon
Language: English
Age: All
Two students Pete and Poppy move from Benoni to Obz. They are fascinated by its multi-culturalism, branded as newbies upon arrival they soon discover its darkness. Poppy is a design student who explores the nightlife and soon loses herself in the mess. Pete discovers culture, the arts and realizes that he is meant to be a rapper instead of a law student, but that he also suffers from chronic depression.

Who to blame

Concert Hall: 20 March 11:30 | 26 March 10:30 ​Presented by: Imbiza theatre company
Written by: Nelisa Fusa & Sonwabo Mphandle Directed by: Nelisa Fusa & Sonwabo Mphandle

Performed by: Zimkhitha Siswano,Simnikiwe Bilikiwe,Mzoxolo Bhamela, Aphelele Mkhumzo, Helena Almader, Siyavuya Busakwe, Asive Maluleka
Language: Xhosa
Age: All

When two parents part ways their children are left shattered by their co-parenting skills. The production aims to explore how children are affected when their parent’s break-up and how one has to move on. Their mother marries again and has two children. We explore the relationship between the siblings and their parents.

Who to blame

Golden Arrow: 26 March 10:00 Presented by: Royal Living Written by: Luvuyo Gonono Directed by: Luvuyo Gonono Performed by: Siphenathi Siqwayi Language: Xhosa, English

While reflecting on how his life spiralled out of control and experiencing endless trauma, a former gangster turned barber shop owner tries to blame everyone who’s influenced him into the misfortunes he’s experienced in life. He relays stories implicating everyone but himself.

Sat, 20 Mar 2021 - 10:00
Mon, 22 Mar 2021 - 10:00
Tue, 23 Mar 2021 - 10:00
Wed, 24 Mar 2021 - 10:00
Thu, 25 Mar 2021 - 10:00
Fri, 26 Mar 2021 - 10:00

20 - 26 March

The Baxter

Every day from 10.00


Ticket price


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Contact Information: 

For block bookings, contact:

Carmen Kearns

Leon van Zyl