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Wednesday, December 16, 2020


(The cover of “Dipalo”)

Assitej SA has launched the publication of the winning play from the 2019 African Playwriting competition, Dipalo.

As the government called for all sectors to promote the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign, ASSITEJ SA found itself taking decisive measures toward supporting theatre for young audiences that makes the ideals of a harmonious society a reality.

“In this regard, we are committed to continuing our work of strengthening our pillars to ensure that children and young people will be able to access the best the arts have to offer. One of these pillars is to support and develop the artists. And so it is with great excitement that we are able to launch the publication of the winning play from the 2019 African Playwriting competition, Dipalo by Lalu Mokuku (SA) and Ginni Manning (UK),” says Yvette Hardie, Director of ASSITEJ SA and President of ASSITEJ international.

Dipalo was conceived when Mokuku and Manning met at The Cradle of Creativity in May 2017 in Cape Town. Frustrated by the continuing violence and abuse of young people in spaces of worship, they were inspired to write a play across continents, exploring the particularity of the phenomenon. At the time in South Africa, there were cases of young women being abused, killed, and abducted with speculation around human trafficking and ritual murders. This work has now been published in collaboration with ASSITEJ SA and will be available as both a hardcopy book and as an epub. It is a timely and relevant work, which will have great resonance for its teen audiences.

Dipalo is an important and timely theatre piece exploring the agency of young people in an exploitative world, and is highly relevant and engaging for teens today…We look forward to Dipalo being read, acted out and engaged with by many young people, and providing a pivotal moment of realisation of the strength that resides in each of us, if we have the courage to look for it,” continued Hardie.

ASSITEJ South Africa is a registered NPO (066-875), which operates as a networking platform for people working with or interested in theatre for children and young people. It aims to promote and foster high-quality theatre for children and young people, to raise standards within the industry, to increase access and awareness, to develop and support artists working in the field, to be an advocate for the right of every child to arts education in schools, and to build relationships within the sector locally, nationally, across the continent, and globally.

Members are present in all provinces and include actors, musicians, dancers, directors, choreographers, theatre educators, stage designers, and dramatists, as well as theatre companies, organisations and institutions, critics and cultural journalists, cultural officers, amateur drama groups, organizers, societies, and other networks.

ASSITEJ South Africa works to promote international awareness of South African theatre for children and young people, through networking, organising exchanges, touring performances, and by facilitating contacts. Members are given access to a global network of information about festivals, performances, courses, and seminars all over the world, with the potential to participate in these activities. ASSITEJ SA was the proud host of the 19th ASSITEJ World Congress and Performing Arts Festival, Cradle of Creativity, in 2017.

For more information contact Kofi Maqhawe Dotsey on 082 859 5635 or email: or visit