by Dr John Kani –
I was born seventy years ago. I grew up in the township of New Brighton outside Port Elizabeth. Life for me and for many of my friends was to wake up and if you are very lucky, you go to school. Otherwise you would just hang around the township and watch your life being wasted away by the very cruel Apartheid System. It was not compulsory for our parents to take us to school and they had to pay for our education.
One day our English teacher took us to see a production of Macbeth by William Shakespeare at the Opera House in the city of Port Elizabeth. We were all excited. Oh no, not to see the play, it was the opportunity to go to town! It was the bus ride that we were looking forward to. We sat in the theatre; the lights went off slowly in the auditorium. The curtain came up and magic happened. That was my first experience of being in a real theatre. (more…)
by Yvette Hardie –
Nelson Mandela famously said, “We understand and promote the notion that while children need to be guided, they also have an entrenched right to be whatever they want to be and that they can achieve this only if they are given the space to dream and live out their dreams.” ASSITEJ believes that theatre creates the perfect spaces within which children can dream and live out their dreams.
Mandela’s notions about children were central to who he was as a person and a leader. In Mandela’s interactions with children, we saw the depth and breadth of his humanity revealed. His playfulness and capacity for humour and joy, his respectful attitude towards children that took seriously their points of view, his fierce belief in the value of education as the most powerful tool we possess, his determination to always find time for children even when in the presence of world leaders and his commitment to children through the ongoing work of his charities, was a hallmark of his legacy. (more…)