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Wednesday, April 7, 2021


The AWPN Meet & Greet with Women in the Arts will take place on April 17 at 17h00 CAT, Zoom, email for the link

In 2015, Yvette Hutchison (Uni Warwick) and Amy Jephta (SA artist) set up African Women Playwrights Network as a virtual network to connect African women creatives with one another across the continent and in diasporas, with programmers, researchers, funders, etc, to increase visibility and share good practice.

Since 2019, it has a steering committee from the network – and in this event, these women will introduce us to important creatives from various countries. Lliane Loots from Agenda, a journal established to address, will respond to some of the issues raised. Audience members will also have time to ask questions and suggest ways AWPN can meet more women and address more issues.


-Yvette Hutchison welcomes all – gives background to AWPN, introduces steering committee, partners, etc

-Neo Kebiditswe chats to Lebogang Disele

-Tosin Tume chats chats with Olaweseun Odukoya G (Aunty Shine Shine)

-Philisiwe Twijnstra chats with Zaza Muchenwa (Almasi Arts)

-Yvette Hutchison invites Lliane Loots from Agenda to respond


-Philisiwe Twijnstra will invite audience members to make suggestions re AWPN initiatives going forward



(Right: Neo Kebiditswe)

Neo Kebiditswe is a writer/ director with a Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts (Theatre Arts) and BA Hons in Motion Picture Medium, in Writing/Directing for film. She has worked as a freelance theatre maker and theatre intern, for the Theatre Department of the University of Botswana. She now works professionally in the television and film industry as Writing and Directing Lecturer at Awil College, while writing herself. In January 2021, she was one of 100 international directors chosen to direct an episode of The Hektomeron for the Marin Sorescu National Theatre Craiova, one of Romania’s landmark theatres, which was then live streamed from the National Theatre’s Amza Pellea Hall.


(Left: Lebogang Disele)

Lebogang Disele has been reading for a PhD in the Drama Department at the University of Alberta in Canada; with experience in movement, acting, directing, and dramaturgy. Select credits include All that Binds Us, a workshopped play produced by Azimuth Theatre 2020, Belleville (2020) and What (Black) Life Requires (2018). Her work integrates poetry and movement to explore issues of marginalization, particularly with regards to gender. Upcoming performances include The Space Between at NextFest Digital in June 2021.


(Right: Dr Oluwatosin Tume)

Dr Oluwatosin Tume is a Nigerian playwright, theatre creator, and scholar. She holds a B.A, M.A and Ph.D. degrees in English, Theatre Arts and Performing Arts from the University of Ilorin, University of Abuja, and University of Ilorin, Nigeria, respectively. Her play Not that Woman was included in the anthology published through this project, Contemporary Plays by African Women (Methuen, 2019), and recently performed in Nigeria. She is a member of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), Association of Dance Scholars and Practitioners of Nigeria (ADSPON), African Theatre Association (AfTA), Women Playwrights International (WPI), and African Women Playwrights Network (AWPN). She has served as the Events Manager of the Society of Nigeria Theatre Artists (SONTA) and is currently the Treasurer of the body. Dr. Tume has to her credit several published and unpublished plays, and dance scripts. Her works include The Pact (2013), Tribal Marks (2014), Mojogbayi (2015), Arodan (2018), Let there be Light (2018), and The Victims (2019), and has won a number of awards for her plays.


(Left: Oluwaseun Odukoya G)

Oluwaseun Odukoya G (Aunty Shine-Shine the Storyteller) is the creator and brain behind Storytime with Aunty Shine-Shine, a 30 minute Storytelling session on Zoom at 17h00 every Sunday geared at fun learning for children. She graduated from the Department of English and Drama (now Department of Theatre and Performing Arts) of the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University. She spent her mandatory Nigerian National Youth Service (NYSC) year (2000/2001) in Kano State, Nigeria as a Corps member with the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) Kano Zonal Office. During this period, she was an active member of the NYSC Dance and Drama Group in Kano. She was later employed in the service of the Council where she serves till date. Her passion for her art kept her active through the years; practicing and honing her skills in various capacities and on diverse levels, including her work as a member of the National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP), Abuja Chapter, on the platforms of veritable theatre organizations such as the Arojah Royal Theatre, Abuja, Theatre for Development Centre, ABU, Zaria, among others, as well as in the service of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) where she works in the Performing Arts Department and has been a regular part of the organization of the annual National Festival of Arts and Culture (NAFEST) since 2004. At the Arojah Royal Theatre, she serves as the Coordinator, Theatre for Young Audience. She is proficient in English, Yoruba and Pidgin languages, some Hausa, which she has used for numerous radio jingle productions as translator and actor. Translation credits include, BBC Media, Population Media Center (PMC), Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiative2 (NURHI 2) National Health Insurance Scheme(NHIS), Breakthrough Action Nigeria (BA-N) and a host of outsourced Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) jingles.


(Right: Philisiwe Twijnstra)

Philisiwe Twijnstra is a South African writer, director and actor. She resides in Durban where she founded Durban Women Playwrights in 2017. She has an MA master’s in Creative Writing at Rhodes University. She was one of 21 African writers from nine countries longlisted for the 2019 Short Story Day Africa Prize ‘Disruption’; and her short story, Little Black sandals was shortlisted for the Short Sharp Stories Award in 2017, and been adapted for the Talisman Theatre, Kenilworth’s recent Tea With The Tali production.

(Left: Zaza Muchemwa)

Zaza Muchemwa is a poet, playwright, theatre director and arts manager based in Zimbabwe. Currently, she is the Associate Artistic Director for Almasi Collaborative Arts. Zaza has directed various theatre productions and performances, including The Incident by Joakim Daun which won the 2018 NAMA Award for best theatre production; in addition to stage readings of plays by Suzan-Lori Parks (2015), Bertolt Brecht (2016), Suzan-Lori Parks (2017), Ariel Dorfman (2017), Rudo Mutangadura (2018) and Kudzai Sevenzo (2018). As a playwright, her latest works include The Fourth Interrogation (developed at the Almasi African Playwrights Festival under the title, A Midnight Conundrum) and Numbers (developed during a playwriting residency at the West Yorkshire Playhouse Theatre). She has written for various publications, including Index on Censorship Magazine, Women Speak, Povo Magazine and A Family Portrait (ICAPA Trust). Her poetry has been published by Poetry International, BN Poetry Award and the Badilisha Poetry Xchange. She has performed her poetry at HIFA (2009, 2010 and 2011) and Intwasa (2011). Zaza is a board member for Dzimbanhete Arts Interactions, LitFest Harare and, has worked as a creative consultant for various  local organizations.


(Right: Dr Yvette Hutchison)

Dr Yvette Hutchison is in the Department of Theatre & Performance Studies at the University of Warwick, UK where she and Amy Jephta began the AWPN network in 2015. She has created physical theatre, installation pieces and written theatre for young people, and is currently looking at how citizenship can be negotia

Her research focuses on Anglophone African theatre, history and memory, and how intercultural performance practices are challenged by ongoing postcolonial issues. She is associate editor of the South African Theatre Journal and the African Theatre series.


(Left: Dr Lliane Loots)

Dr Lliane Loots is Lecturer in the Drama and Performance Studies Programme at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Howard College Campus). She has a Master’s degree in Gender Studies and her PhD in 2018 considered contemporary dance/performance histories on the African continent. As an artist/scholar her PhD research was framed within an ethnographic and autoethnographic paradigm with a focus on narrative as methodology. Loots sit on the Editorial Advisory Board for AGENDA - a feminist academic journal that supports the critical writing of primality African female scholars. Loots hold the founding position of Artistic Director for UKZN’s Centre for Creative Arts’ annual international JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience – a festival that turns 23 in 2021. Loots founded her Flatfoot Dance Company as a professional dance company in 2003 when it grew out of a dance training programme that originally began in 1994. As the artistic director and resident choreographer for Flatfoot Dance Company, she has won numerous national choreographic awards and commissions and has travelled quite extensively in Europe, America and within the African continent with her dance work. Loots was awarded the Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters) by the French government in 2017 for her work (both artistic and curatorial) in the South African dance sector.


The AWPN Meet & Greet with Women in the Arts will take place on April 17 at 17h00 CAT, Zoom, email for the link