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Chilahaebolae – A PESP-funded play scripted by Kgafela oa Magogodi.

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Chilahaebolae – A PESP-funded play scripted by Kgafela oa Magogodi.
Chilahaebolae A Play by Kgafela oa Magogodi NAC PESP Success Stories National Arts Council of South Africa

From the 16th to the 19th of June 2021 Funda Centre College was abuzz with creative engagement through the Chilahaebolae play, ideated and scripted by Kgafela oa Magogodi.

Chilahaebolae is an allegorical tale that presents the world of Phokobje, the Jackal, who sets out in search of a long-lost friend Mpja, the dog. After a temperamental journey from Nageng, a thirsty and hungry Phokobje finds Mpja swimming in the joys of suburban bliss in Chilahaebolae. Mpja, who is now the master’s guard-dog is feasting happily behind a high electric fence. Phokobje’s unexpected appearance in Chilahaebolae is an unwelcome interruption and an unpleasant reminder of Mpja’s betrayal.

Phokobje’s refusal to comply with the ways of a world run by Motho further complicates matters. Caracks on the edifice of their friendship grow wider and deeper.

– Kgafela oa Magogodi, Writer and Director of Chilahaebolae.

The project also went a long way in creating jobs in the performance and drama industry. The call for talent comprised of a widely publicised audition campaign, which ensured that the cast was comprised of both seasoned practitioners and budding talent from marginalised communities. The production was staged in an outdoor facility at Funda Centre College, a key player in Institutional creative sector development towards the tail end of Apartheid. Herein, we find two innovations that the project has promulgated; the inventiveness of outdoor staging to curb COVID-19 implications and restrictions, but even more importantly a SANCOFA flight towards the future, giving back life to history and its importance to contemporary reality.

Funda Centre seems to be experiencing some kind of creative renaissance that is forcing the institution to return to its original mandate while servicing the community. “Chilahaebolae” is one such return by many renowned practitioners such as oa Magogodi, to Funda Centre.

There seems to be a tacit or implied call to action that is whispering to creatives to bring Funda Centre back to its creative centre through participation, inventiveness and well-curated creative content.

This particular outcome is a spin-off but not a direct objective of PESP specifically, however, it is one of the many incremental and fundamental roles that the NAC has created in collaboration with artists towards social cohesion within a creative ecology.


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