!KE E:  /XARRA   //KE, A Reminder from the 2023 National Arts Festival

26 Jul 2023

King of Broken Things: a 2023 Gold Standard Bank Ovation Award winner, reminds us of the beauty found in  making the broken beautiful. The play introduces us to Kintsugi, a Japanese art form that urges people to celebrate imperfections. In this art form, broken ceramics are put back together with gold. Fittingly, this emphasizes that nothing should be wasted. In the play though, they added that rehabilitation of broken things includes hearts. I could easily understand the possibility of rehabilitating broken things, but rehabilitating hearts was hard for me to comprehend and imagine, that is until I realized that the production itself had mended my heart. I took a deep breath and plucked up the courage to talk to other people who had also seen the production. Teary and critical conversations of joy brought the possibility much closer than we had imagined.

As we continue to rehabilitate our broken societies, I would like to invite you, dear members, to revisit the highest symbol of the state: the National Coat of Arms. Research the meaning of the saying of the Khoisan people contained within the shield (signifying intergenerational protection).

Therein, you will discover the mammoth task you are doing to mend hearts.

More recently, the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Zizi Kodwa praised Musa Motha for flying the South African flag high on a TV show, Britain’s Got Talent, when he made it through to the grand finale of the competition. And in one of his final online engagements (May 30), now deceased Author Eusebius McKaiser tweeted “STOP what you are doing right now. You need to watch this. wow. I … am speechless & ran out of tears. Also retweet so Musa Motha becomes a household name in SA and not just a star in a UK show. This is the inspiration you need for this week”.

While I celebrate my inspiring experience at the National Arts Festival, I cannot wait to experience something similar at the upcoming Performing Arts festival (Cradle of Creativity) due to take place in Johannesburg from 20-27 August. I am delighted to note that the ASSITEJ International Executive Committee will be present at the festival, and that some of our decision makers, such as the NAC, work in close proximity to the main venue, the Market theatre.

My hope is that diverse children, adult audiences AND government officials will attend the festival and experience how in varied ways, art unites diverse people and their experiences; inevitably promoting the Nation’s vision and motto: !KE E /XARRA //KE.

– Lalu Mokuku is the Chairperson of ASSITEJ SA and ASSITEJ International EC member. Pen(t)s Down Haha! a play she wrote in collaboration with the cast, won the 2023 Standard Bank Ovation Award (Bronze). It will tour to the ASSITEJ Cradle of Creativity, from 20 – 27 August. King of Broken Things will be at the same festival. Learn more at www.cradleofcreativity.com



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