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Thursday, June 6, 2019


(Magnet Theatre's production of G7: OKWE-BOKHWE runs in Cape Town and at the National Arts Festival, Makhanda. Photo Credit: Mark Wessels)

Multiple award-winning Magnet Theatre presents G7: OKWE-BOKHWE directed by Mandla Mbothwe and starring the talented graduates of the fifth Magnet Theatre training programme.

G7: OKWE-BOKHWE (Like/Of a Goat) will be performed at the P4 Studio at Hiddingh Hall campus in Cape Town from June 12 to 22, followed by a run on June 27, 28 and 29 as part of the Main Programme at the 2019 National Arts Festival, Makhanda.

This powerful production is based on the historical records of the Gugulethu Seven, seven young members of Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) who were ambushed and heartlessly killed by the South African security forces on the morning of March 3, 1986, during the anti-apartheid struggle years. The Gugulethu Seven memorial was built on the site of the ambush to commemorate the life and death of those activists.

G7: OKWE-BOKHWE was originally devised by Mbothwe with the fifth cohort of trainees on Magnet’s Full Time Training and Job Creation Programme 2017/2018 and performed at the Gugulethu Memorial site. The Magnet Theatre trainees now return as graduates and third year interns to perform the production for the 2019 tour.

The production is a powerful active memorial that attempts to engage with a process of healing the pain of our collective past. The production is also regenerative, allowing the wounds of our history to be exposed, validated, and attended to. Drawing on the powerful language of the body, song and ritual G7: OKWE-BOKHWE honours the Gugulethu Seven and celebrates the power of theatre’s ability to heal.

“What is memory, what does it do and what happens when the past meets the present? Our job as storytellers is to explore these questions and interrupt the sense that there is nothing we can do,” says director Mandla Mbothwe. “As with this production, breaking out the forcibly archived stories should be at the centre of the journey to becoming a more human-faced nation.”

Directed by Mandla Mbothwe, with Movement Direction by Jennie Reznek and assistant direction by Zukisani Nongogo, Design is by Linda Mandela Sejosingoe,  Choreography by Mzo Gasa, Music by Babalwa Makwetu, Lighting Design by Themba Stewart with Text and Poetry created by the company and originally co-ordinated by Vuyokazi  Ngemntu.

The cast features Magnet Theatre graduates: Abigail Mei, Carlo Daniels, Luxolo Mboso, Siyavuya Gqumehlo, Sivenathi Macibela, Sizwe Lubengu, Sityhilelo Makupula and Yvonne Msebenzi.

Magnet Theatre is one of South Africa’s best known independent physical theatre companies that has been operating in and outside of South Africa for the past 31 years. Aside from its professional work, the company runs multi-layered educational programmes that are aimed at the transformation of young people’s lives and the theatre industry as a whole. Magnet Theatre runs the only suite of bridging programs in theatre arts for unemployed youth in the Western Cape. In March 2019, Magnet was recognised by the provincial Western Cape Government with an award for outstanding contribution to Arts and Culture in the Drama category.

OKWE-BOKHWE runs at the Rhodes Box Theatre at the National Arts Festival, Makhanda on June 27 at 19h00; on June 28 at 16h00 and 20h00; and on June 29 at 14h00.

Tickets for the National Arts Festival R80 with R75 concessions and can be booked at

Age advisory PG (not for young children)

The Magnet Theatre is generously supported by Rand Merchant Bank, Oppenheimer Memorial Trust, HCI Foundation, HCI Foundation Community Transport Support Programme, Western Cape Government Expanded Public Works Programme, Potjie Foundation, Ampersand Foundation, with support from the National Arts Festival.