#WeAreDyingHere Siphokazi Jonas returns to Artscape on 30 November and 1 December 2019.

Highly respected and much-applauded producer, playwright, performer and UCT Masters graduate, Siphokazi Jonas returns to Artscape with a brand-new poetry and music production, #WeAreDyingHere, on 30 November and 1 December 2019.
#WeAreDyingHere is three women’s responses to the prevalence of the violent culture of harassment, abuse, rape and femicide in South Africa.

“We want to put out a challenge to ourselves and all members of society to reimagine a more hopeful future where the most vulnerable are not overwhelmed by fear,” Jonas says of her latest deeply personal and considered production.

The show also asks how we can continue these conversations, not just during 16 Days of Activism but 365-days-a-year which is how we experience violence in our country. “The show is an indaba,” she shares. “Audiences will have 90 minutes to respond and imagine together, all within a very personal setting. The venue is intimate (90 people) and not within a traditional theatre, allowing for a flatter structure with semi-circular seating.

#WeAreDyingHere draws on many local and global traditions of storytelling by decreasing the distance between performer and audience, all while flattening hierarchies. “I am really tired of feeling helpless and afraid as a woman in South Africa,” Jonas insists. “Before work began on realising #WeAreDyingHere, I felt as if art has no real place in terms of true change in the world; a poem is not going to change murderous intent. A fellow writer reminded me that our work gives us language and helps us to articulate ourselves. That’s what we hope #WeAreDyingHere will illicit.”
All three-cast members co-wrote the work; Siphokazi Jonas, along with Venda-born storyteller Hope Netshivhambe and vocalist Babalwa Makwetu.
Hope has performed her poetry at The State Theatre (Pretoria), the Market Theatre (Johannesburg), and has been part of the first ever-national Fresh Poetry Tour. She recently took third place at the Tshwane Speak Out Loud poetry competition for the 2018/2019 edition.

Babalwa Makwetu, who was also part of the cast of Jonas’ Around the Fire 2018, is a 2017 Fleur du Cap Theatre Awards nominee for Best Supporting Actress. She is both an actress and a musician; currently she is a part-time music teacher at Magnet Theatre where she studied Physical Theatre and a number of other disciplines. Babalwa has toured locally and internationally, including Italy, Switzerland and the USA. She will also be releasing her debut single, “Vuma”, this year.

#WeAreDyingHere is an important work in speaking back, speaking against, and leading the conversation, which need to be had within our communities.

“When we got together as the creators of this work, we weren’t even sure what needs to be said,” Jonas recalls. “We were trying to figure out how to articulate our rage, but we also wanted to challenge ourselves to write from a position of autonomy and strength. Through this show we grapple with the idea of hope in such seemingly hopeless conditions.”

“We hope that we will see a lot of men in attendance and in conversation,” she concludes. “I cannot stress this enough. We need people eager to challenge norms within their circles and who are willing to be accountable.”

We’re also taking the hashtag conversation offline. If you are looking for a moment to breathe in the chaos – to be encouraged, to speak and listen to different communities – this is for you!
Important to note is that although the title of the show is #WeAreDyingHere, the trio want to leave everyone with an overwhelming sense of just how much we want to live: to thrive, fearlessly, and as freely as possible.

Jonas intends taking #WeAreDyingHere on tour in 2020, in order that these indabas/conversations can be sparked in as many spaces as possible; from schools, churches, offices to many traditional and non-traditional performance spaces.

#WeAreDyingHere will also be performed in Johannesburg at a latter date .

Tickets for #WeAreDyingHere are available from Quicket https://qkt.io/EGevUy

4 Young poets tackle 22 poems – 27 April 2.30pm at Centre for the Book

22 years into a democratic South Africa but what does freedom really mean?

4 young poets tackle this and other questions in this show.

3 of Cape Town’s premier poets in Kyle Louw, Sipho Kotobason Ndebele and Siphokazi Jonas share the stage with East London’s Akhona Sidlai.

This will be a feast of words and social commentary.

Come out and celebrate your freedom day with us.

Thank you to the Argus and Robyn Cohen for all the support for Siphokazi Jonas

Siphokazi Jonas poet and musician returns with Around The Fire Artscape 31 March 8pm

Following the success of her Wrestling With Dawn production, last December, the much-applauded producer, playwright, performer, English literature and Bachelor of Arts major, Siphokazi Jonas, returns in 2016 with Around The Fire.

Her latest, highly anticipated, 90-minute stage production is set to rewrite a good few rulebooks, as each of her previous three works did before it.

“Around the fire” will be staged at Artscape on

Thursday, 31 March 2016 at 20:00 (once off)

Tickets range from R80 (discounts and block bookings) – R120

In December 2015 the UCT Master’s graduate, and former Queenstown local, captivated audiences with Wrestling With Dawn, her third challenging creative emersion, which was captured live to DVD. Since then Jonas has been hard at work on drafting her next chapter that is Around The Fire.

The entirely original South African script unfolds within a unique fusion of theatre, poetry and live music. Four women, all from very different backgrounds, Mbali, Faiza, Amber and Angel, find themselves sharing a makeshift fire on a rainy Cape Town evening. Brought together by unexpected circumstances, the four form a bond as fierce and fleeting as the fire. Mbali, the homeless guardian of the fire, and Eastern Cape ‘refugee’, liberates the stories that brought them together in an effort to understand her newfound place in a city that renders her invisible.

Jonas weaves all four characters together through dialogue and poetry with the live band playing an integral ‘fifth character’ in innovative modes of storytelling.

All the highly talented band members feed concepts into the melting point and herein lies the genesis of the work called “Around the Fire “

The production takes place as part of this year’s Artscape Spiritual Festival themed, “Healing Self – Healing Society”. Tickets are available at Computicket.

The cast

Nolan Africa, a Drama graduate from UCT, dabbled in theatre and television, briefly, before joining the educational theatre world, delivers director and set design. In 2013, he completed an honours degree in Drama Therapy at WITS.

With Jonas as producer and playwright, music composition and direction for Around The Fire fell to Sikhumbuzo Ndebele. As a Durban University of Technology jazz scholar, the songwriter, music composer and arranger has worked with the likes of Mthunzi Namba, Lindelani Mkhize, Nqubeko Mbatha and Sibongile Khumalo, amongst many others.

The balance of the cast sees UCT-trained guitarist Germaine Leonard, who was privileged enough to have Alvyn Dyers as his mentor, in the mix too. Today Leonard shares his talent with his peers through training, management, writing and recording in various guises.

Vocalist and much-applauded multi-instrumentalist Keanu Harker joins the powerhouse collective, having recently wrapped up performing as part of the Adam Small BeJazzed production.

The classically-trained pianist, jazz vocalist student and SAMRO Overseas Scholarship winner Zoe Modiga adds her voice to the ensemble, having performed at celebrated festivals such as the Aardklop Festival, Joy of Jazz and The Cape Town International Jazz Festival and shared stages with the likes of Gloria Bosman, Matthew Gold and Marcus Wyatt.

Keys and vocal support comes in the form of Josh Prinsloo, the2014 Music Experience’s Cape Town Folk ‘n Acoustic Music Festival competition winner. Singled-out and commended by David Kramer for possessing a “fresh sound” as an artist whose work contains a good balance between serious and comedic subject matter, Prinsloo’s shared stages with Die Antwoord, Kahn Morbee (The Parlotones), Prime Circle, Karen Zoid, aKing, Hemel Besem, Majozi and Albert Frost, amongst a host of others.

Bass guitar duty falls to actor, dancer, model and musician Rosco Roman. Besides representing South Africa for Hip-hop dancing in Germany, the film actor and accomplished Jazz Studies graduate from UCT Roman recently performed at the Mother City Live Music Festival 2015

Jason Skippers is the collective’s beat keeper. Drummer, composer, producer and songwriter too, Skippers cut his musical teeth more than a decade ago, playing music in His People Church, and he’s been playing there ever since. He’s kept time with Judith Sepuma, Louie Brtitz, Elvis Blue and many more.

More keys and beautiful voice is what Eden Myrrh Toohey brings to Around The Fire, feeding the eclectic mix with her alternative pop sensibility. The teacher and mentor completed an Access Certificate in Jazz Piano at Howard University, Durban, and is currently completing a Bachelor of Commerce, majoring in Marketing, as well as working towards completing her Classical Piano Teaching Diploma with the Royal Schools of London.

Key performance date and ticket prices

Venue Artscape

· Thursday, 31 March 2016 at 20:00 (once off)

· Tickets range from R80 (discounts and block bookings) – R120 –Book at Computicket

For more information contact:
Triple M Entertainment
Martin Myers

E-mail: martmyers
Mobile: +27 83 448 4475

Must see show at Artscape on 31 MARCH -12 YEARS A BAND A unique fusion of theatre, poetry and live music

In this unique fusion of theatre, poetry and live music, a uniquely South African story unfolds.

Four women with very different backgrounds, Mbali, Faiza, Amber and Angel, find themselves sharing a makeshift fire on a rainy Cape Town evening.

Brought together by unexpected circumstances, they form a bond as fierce and temporary as the fire. Mbali, the homeless guardian of the fire, and Eastern Cape ‘refugee’, unravels the stories that brought them there, trying to make sense of her own place in a city that renders her invisible.

Written by: Siphokazi Jonas
Director: Nolan Africa
Music Director: Sikhumbuzo Ndebele

Cast/Musicians: Siphokazi Jonas, Keanu Harker, Germaine Leonard, Zoe Modiga, Josh Prinsloo (Fruit Vendor), Rosco Roman, Jason Skippers, Eden Myrrh

Artscape Theatre, 31 March, 20:00. Book through Computicket .Booking now open

Standing ovation for Siphokazi Jonas show today

The outstanding wordsmith received a standing ovation today for the show she delivered today with world class performers including Jason Skippers on drums.
The 90 minute show was full of humour and profound statements which will transfer to DVD for early 2016 release

She performed to a sell out crowd at Kaleidoscope Cafe in Claremont today

The Dvd will be ready in the first half of 2016.

Don’t forget next Sunday 20th December Poetry show with the fantastic Siphokazi Jonas

Next Sunday 20th December Siphokazi Jonas hosts the 1st ever DVD recording of her work.
Please book and try to attend

She is a master at her craft and after the standing ovation at the opening of Music Exchange #MEX15 at GrandWest in September ,she is bound to bring a new level of brilliance to this one off show.

Poet Siphokazi Jonas will present her new production Around the Fire – Saturday, 25 July

Poet Siphokazi Jonas will present her new production, Around the Fire, on Saturday, 25 July, at The Warehouse, 12 Plantation Road in Wetton.

The UCT graduate, and former Queenstown local, holds a Masters degree in English literature, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama and English.

This vital and voracious poet has been pushing the envelope in the work she has been producing over the past year, and has been featured in the Inzync Poetry Sessions, Expression Session Kuilsriver, Grounding Sessions and Artsemble.

Siphokazi has been an opening act for American poets Ezekiel Azonwu, Janette Ikz and Alysia Harris as well as UK Hip Hop artist S.O. She was recently crowned the first Home of Poetry slam champion at the Cape Town Ultimate Slam on 31 May 2015.

She is also the curator of Poetica, at the Open Book Festival, and recently featured in the February issue of Authors Magazine and the June issue of in-flight magazine, Mango Juice.

Siphokazi performed at Music Exchange 2014, to an audience including the likes of international heavyweights of the calibre of Mos Def, Trevor Jones, AKA, Estelle Kockot, RJ Benjamin, and Hotstix Mabuse, amongst others. Last August she was the guest artist at the Open Mic Jazz competition at GrandWest, along with Bev Scott Brown.

The young wordsmith has most recently worked with the Applauz Arts Initiative, at the Adam Small Festival. Collaboration is a defining feature of her work and has led her to sharing the stage with local legends Pops Mohammed, Dave Reynolds, Frank Paco and Amanda Tiffin. This approach has given birth to the upcoming production on the 25th of July.

“This is not just a poetry show”, the gifted academic admits, “it is a fusion of theatre, poetry and music, that create a unique experience.”

After conducting interviews with five Cape Town residents from different backgrounds, Siphokazi intends to bring their untold stories to the stage through poetry. “The script is brand new, as is the musical score,” she explains, “imagine a musical where the conversation is between poetry and music.” “I want to tell these stories because I believe that they are all our stories. Around the Fire is meant to remind us about the community formed when we sit together in front of a fireplace or around a camp or a braai fire and share our lives with those close to us.” This show is an invitation to “come out of the cold” and share in the warmth of a new community; the story we tell could be yours.”

Around the Fire, directed by Nolan Africa, with music composed by Sikhumbuzo Ndebele and features vocals and music by Zoë Modiga, Eden Myrrh Toohey, Fruit Vendor, Keanu Harker, Germaine Leonard and Liam Webb. Tickets cost R100.

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