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March 20, 2020

ASSITEJ SA Chairperson: 2020 World Day Message

Selloane Mokuku

World Theatre Day – Take a child to the theatre in 2020

There is a term in theatre; “suspension of disbelief”. During this time we allow our minds to believe the otherwise unbelievable. We get lost in the imagination and escape to a different world. A world that mirrors and/or illuminates our real world and beyond.

On March 15, 2020, we woke up to a real-world filled with suspensions of many activities due to COVID -19; now declared a national disaster. We woke up to orders on restrictions on the numbers of people who can congregate at one point at a time, including travel. We got a message of washing hands and getting sanitizers, and suddenly the reality of the plight of many young people was made apparent. Many may not have access to water and may not be able to afford sanitizers or safer modes of travel. Schools had to be closed down sooner and fundamentalists came up with inflammatory messages about the end of the world. Social media spread good and bad messages and messaging. Some parents and guardians took a chance to protect young people from this influx of information. At times it was hard. At times they could not answer a simple question of what is COVID -19. At times they succeeded. Child-friendly messages also surfaced and so did alternatives to schooling. Perhaps a ‘one informative thing a day’ attitude may ground us. A hotline number 060123456 has been opened by the Department of Health and is invaluable.

ASSITEJ International President, Yvette Hardie has also sent out a message regarding the global response to the situation. It feels surreal, a feeling similar to being the first African country to host the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) world cup in 2010. “It’s here!” were the sounds, the dream was here. It’s a different context now, but sadly “it is here”, this time, the COVID -19. How we respond to it remains a challenge.

The State President called for many restrictions but in the world of theatre, the power of imagination cannot be restricted nor suspended. As such, on this World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People, let us evoke the power of imagination and invite young audiences and take them to the theatre in different ways. ASSITEJ SA is now publishing plays that have won its playwriting competitions, and this may be an opportunity to buy and read the plays. When intergenerational dialogue was almost being dismissed, now is the time for its revival through storytelling. Ben Okri suggests that storytelling is the oldest form of technology. The physical nature of going to theatre may be suspended for now, but the real power of theatre moves beyond the physical boundaries.

Africa is young, and this places an incredible opportunity for its children and young people to shape its future. At a policy level, the AU Agenda 2063 transformative principles are critical to consider. At a practical level, diverse topics that children and young audiences are exposed to present a beneficial aspect to the department of basic education’s principles, encouraging critical thinking as contained in the curriculum. We know that learning does not only reside in schools and that parents and guardians play an important role in this regard. We urge all those who are concerned about Africa’s future to rally toward ensuring that the principles of children’s participation, provision of services and child protection are upheld at all times. This means that proper planning and responsible actions will lead to safer, stimulating experiences for our children.

Theatre is said to be life, and that life is theatre. Even during this time, enjoy life, enjoy the theatre!

Selloane Mokuku

ASSITEJ SA Chairperson

 

 

Selloane Mokuku

Letsatsi la lefatshe la bonono – Isa ngwana ho boha tshwantshiso ya sethaleng 2020

Hona le polelo e reng “boitebatso ba nakwana” tshwantshisong tsa sethaleng. Polelo ena e thusa hore ha nakwana e itseng, re dumele tseo ha maemo a ne a tlwaelehile, di neng di sa tlo dumelleha. Ka nako ena, re ba le monyetla wa ho tjhorisa mehopolo, ebe re kena lefatsheng la mofuta. Moo seo re se bohileng ekabang seipone kapa lebone ka tsa bophelo.

Ka la 15 Hlakubele, 2020, re ile ra iphumana re le ka hara lefatshe la nnete leo ho lona ho buang ka ho thibela merero e mengata ka lebaka la Mokakallane wa Feberu-19, e seng e tlalehilwe e le boemo ba tlokotsi. Ra fumana ditaelo tsa ho fokotsa lenane la batho ba ka kopanang sebakeng se le seng ka nako e le ngwe, ho kenyeletsa le tsa maeto. Ra fumana melaetsa ya hore batho ba hlape matsoho ka metsi kapa ba sebedise motswako o bolailweng dikokwana hloko. Ka ho panya hwa leihlo, maemo a botlokotsi ba bana a ba pepeneneng. Ba bang ba bana ha ba na mokgwa wa ho fumana metsi, kapa hona ho reka motswako. Le mokgwa wa maeto a bolokehileng ekaba bothata. Dikolo di ile tsa kwalwa pele ho nako e tlwaelehileng, yaba le bashwela tumelo ba se ba kenella ka bopaki ba bohata, bare lefatshe lea fela. Marang rang a fetisa melaetsa e metle le e mebe. Batswadi le bahodisi ba bang ba leka ho thiba boemo bona ba sekgahla sa melaetsa le ditaba. Ka nako e ngwe ka katleho, ka nko e ngwe ba ne ba sitwa ho hlalosa na Mokakallane wa Feberu-19 ke eng. Melaetsa e bonolo yeo bana ba ka e utlwisisang e ile ya hlahella, ho kenyeletsa le mekgwa e meng ya boithuto. Mohlomong ha re ka hapella boemo ba ho ithuta ka mehla, ekaba thuso. Hona le mohala wa 060123456 o butsweng ke lekala la Bophelo, mme o molemo haholo.

MoPresitente wa ASSITEJ Lefatsheng ka kakaretso Yvette Hardie o se fane ka melaetsa ka boemo ba ditaba. Eka toro, ntho e tshwanang le mohlang re qalang hoba naha ya pele ya Afrika ya ho epa pitso tsa dipapadi tsa bolo ya maoto tsa FIFA ka 2010. Lepetjo e ne ele le reng “e fihlile!”, ruri toro e ne e phethahetse. Maemo ke a fapaneng kajeno, ka bomadimabe e fihlele; re bua ka Mokakallane wa Feberu-19. Tsela yeo re tla fenya boemo bona e sa setse ele yona ntwa e kgolo.

MoPresitente wa Naha o se a fane dithibelo tse itseng, leha hole jwalo,tabeng tsa tshwantshiso tsa sethala, ha ho tse ka thibelwang, ka baka la matla a mehopolo. Kahoo, letsatsing lena la lefatshe la bonono – Isa ngwana ho boha tshwantshiso ya sethaleng, ha re nkeng monyetla wa ho hlokola botebo ba mohopolo, re memeleng bana sethaleng sa mofuta. ASSITEJ SA e se e na le dibuka tse tswetsweng ke dithlodisano tsa botshwantshisi. Nako ena e ka ba monyetla wa ho reka dibuka tseo re di balleng bana. Ele ho matlafatsa puisano pakeng tsa meloko, mohlong ho qoqa ka ditshomo ekaba mokgwa o mong o matla. Ben Okri ore ditshomo ke theknologi ea mengwaha kgolo. Mekgwa ya mehaho ya ho boha ditshwantshiso tsa sethaleng e ka nna ya se kgonehe ha jwale, empa matla a mehopolo e feta mabota a mehaho.

Boholo ba batho Afrika ba ba nyane dilemong, mme hona ho fana ka monyetla o kgaphatsehang ho bana ho bopa bokamoso ba yona. Boemong ba maano, AU Agenda 2063 ke tokomane e bohlokwa haholo ho supa tsela yeo diphetoho di ka phethahalang ka teng. Haele boemong ba letsatsi ka letsatsi, sethala se bonahala se tswela pele ho bontsha ditswhantshiso tse hlokolang di bile di aha. Mme taba ena e metana le ditshia tsa thuto tsa ho ba le boinahano bo batsi. Tsena di hlahella lenaneng la thuto la naha. Leha ho le jwalo, rea tseba bohle hore boithuto, ha bo etsahale sekolong feela, le hore batswadi kapa bahlokomedi ba bohlokwa haholo kgodisong ya bana. Re etsa boipiletso ho bohle ba boulelang bokamoso ba Afrika ho matlafatsa taba tsa hore ditshia tsa matjhaba tsa ho kenya letsoho tabeng tse amang motho, ho fana ke ditshebeletso tse amehang le ho tshireletsa ngwana dia ananelwa ka nako tsohle. Hona ho bolela hore meralo le boikarabelo di tla lebisa maemong a bolokehileng, a hlabollang bana ba rona.

Bang bare tshwantshiso tsa sethala ke bophelo, hape bophelo ke tshwantshiso ya sethala. Le maemong ana a teng, natefelwang ke bophelo, natefelwang ke ditshwantshiso tsa sethaleng!

Selloane Mokuku

Modulasetulo, ASSITEJ SA

 

 

 

 

 

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