national Arts Festival Banner

Monday, October 2, 2017


Durban University of Technology’s (DUT) Drama Department presents the annual Dance Production, a season of contemporary dance entitled Naked Truth, directed by Mdu Mtshali. It runs in the Courtyard Theatre from October 5 to 7.

Naked Truth raises awareness about the abuse of women and children and commemorates the lives of Popi Qwabe and Bongeka Phungula, both graduates from DUT’s Drama and Production Studies Department who were found dead in Soweto in May this year, outside Naledi and Tladi respectively.

Mtshali explains: “As artists we also honour the naked shoot campaign organised by Popi’s sister, Thembelihle Qwabe, as her signature move in seeking justice for her late sister Popi Qwabe and best friend Bongeka Phungula. The notion relies on the concept that abused and murdered women should not be held to account as they are the victims not the perpetrators. The Naked Truth confronts the notion that women invite aggression and are the seducers of rapists. Stripped bare women confront how the image of gender is not an extended invitation minus agreement, voice or permission. This production is centred on the female body as the site of abuse, rape, identity, acceptance, gender tension, skin, tolerance and approval.”

Lihle Qwabe says: “As women we get undressed every single day by men. They harass us and this is seemingly relative to black women; we take taxis every day and get harassed. Some men seem to think that because I smile with him he has a right to rape me. Because of my clothes he has a right to sexually violate me, which is totally wrong, and we as women do not feel safe at all,”

Although South Africa is a democratic country, gender-based violence remains at its highest. Some members of society still go out of their way to shame women who are “not covered up” enough.

“I chose the concept because women suffering abuse has become a norm and frequently in confrontation elicits laughter in this country. It is taken so lightly that government remains uninvolved in finding solutions. The gruesome action of rape scenes will show the true state of rape victims by using female bodies to depict the ordeal of rape. Lighting will be used to suggest what is hidden and what is revealed,” adds Mtshali.

Naked Truth involves all second- year and third- years who specialise in theatre dance, and showcases three new works by Durban based choreographers: Mdu Mtshali, Tsediso Kabulu, Nqubeko Ngema and Njabulo Zungu.

Naked Truth runs from October 4 to 6 nightly at 19h00 in DUT’s Courtyard Theatre, Mansfield / Steve Biko Road. Entrance R20. More information from Lebohang Sibisi on 031 373 2194.