Lazy Sipho

The over-riding mood of the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown this year was fairly dark. Themes touching on Race, Culture and General Disillusionment dominated the stages…. A bit like the mood of our Nation at the moment ….with the usual characters – Violence, Lawlessness and Political Disarray playing starring roles….

But amid the chaos pockets of hope exist and once again The Arts did its magic-  bringing folk together from all walks of life to share experiences which heighten emotions and force engagement with the nitty -gritty of life – all of it enhanced by the rawness of the live theatre experience….

One pocket of hope this year was the eight school children from Chintsa Drama Club who through the hard work of lovely Ms Charlotte, International Volunteer Coordinator and Drama Graduate, had a chance to engage with a South Africa they had never seen before. 

These youngsters live lives that are challenged daily by poverty, lack of opportunity and at times just flat out abuse…but through drama club they access moments to step out of character and into dreams, longings and imagination. They are gazed at, focused on,  appreciated and applauded. And one hopes that for brief periods of time perhaps, they ‘get away’.

Due to Charlotte’s tenacious character and sheer determination this group of young troubadours ended up on a road trip to South Africa’s largest Arts Festival and performed a special home-brewed story about Sipho the Lazy Boy,

to appreciative and ever growing audiences on the Drosty Lawns.

In between performing the drama group attended shows and seeped up the atmosphere….

And as their experiences grew, so did their performance and improvisation..until,

by day three we weren’t sure if we were watching the same story,

but we were certainly being entertained!

With their experience as Arts Festival Performers under their belt,

they brought ‘Sipho’ home to Chintsa,

and presented their final performance to family, friends and local community –

bringing a bit of the Festival home too.

“I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.”

Thornton Wilder

July 2015 – Celebrating the formation of and first performances by the Chintsa Drama Club and their fabulous trip to the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. 

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12 thoughts on “Lazy Sipho

  1. Acting and theatres of various kinds have changed many lives, and it doesn’t discriminate. It allows anyone who participates to see we can choose to be who we want to be.
    “The stage is a magic circle where only the most real things happen, a neutral territory outside the jurisdiction of Fate where stars may be crossed with impunity. A truer and more real place does not exist in all the universe.” ― P.S. Baber, Cassie Draws the Universe

  2. I have a lump in my throat having read that. What a great experience for these youngsters, and hopefully the experience will have given them confidence and a vision of what they can achieve. And hopefully those watching appreciate that talent comes in all colours from all countries and all sections of society.

    The UK is experience many of the same problems with the added horrors of historic paedophile rings being uncovered, with high profile names cited, including a former Prime Minister, unelected Lords making merry with prostitutes and drugs, and ever-increasing austerity seeing the growth of food banks and child poverty while at the other end of the social scale people enjoy large salaries and even larger bonuses and the banks rip everyone off.

      • Pipe dream? Perhaps. But I suspect change for the better will only be achieved by everyone doing a little bit, rather than leaving important decisions to a few who rarely consult whether we approve or not.

  3. Awesome project in the Chintsa ethos to bring change, empower children and share freely. Well done to the drama club and those who made this happen. Thanks for sharing Gill.

    • Pleasure! Your work is very good. Is that what you did for a living or is it a hobby? Based on the comment about your son goofing around in the generations pic, I suspect most days are somewhat insane in your life, but in the best possible way.

  4. Missed this but what a warm and colourful post. The enthusiasm of the drama group really shines through in those photos and I hope the experience gave them something different and that the community felt it was a worthwhile effort.

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