Fatima Dike

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Fatima Royline Dike (“Fats”). (13 September 1948-) Actress, stage manager, storyteller and playwright.


She was born in Langa, Cape Town and went to school at Rustenberg High. Started work in a bookshop in Langa belonging to her brother-in-law. Her friend Sue Clark introduced her to poetry as an art form and she began writing.


Attended the Iowa Writer’s Workshop and spent some time in self-imposed exile in New York (1979-83).


In 1972 she met Brian Astbury and joined the newly formed Space Theatre, working as assistant stage manager and stage manager.

Encouraged by Rob Amato she ventured into playwriting and produced The Sacrifice of Kreli and was made resident playwright at the Space.

On her return from New York she first rejoined the bookshop, before Nomhle Nkonyeni drew her back to theatre.

Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

She worked as stage manager on Die Laaste Middagmaal, Fallen Angels, It’s My Weekend, Too, L’amante Anglaise, Luv, The Mind Mirror and My Family came over with the Normans.

As actress she performed in Glass House, Four Twins (by Copi) and Lysistrata S.A. for them. She had a role in Moeders en Dogters (CAPAB 1985).

She wrote the play The Sacrifice of Kreli which was staged at The Market Theatre in 1976. It was also her first published play.

Her other plays were The First South African (performed Space, 1977, published 1978), The Crafty Tortoise, a children’s play (performed Space Theatre, 1978), Glasshouse (performed Space, 1979, published 1999*?). She now wrote So What's New? (performed Market Theatre, 1991, published 1996), Street Walking and Company Valet Service (performed Baxter Theatre,??* 2000),

In 2005 she participated in The Storytelling Festival at The Baxter Theatre Centre (in association with Sibikwa Community Theatre Project). Co-founder with Roy Sargeant of the Siyasanga South African Theatre Company in 2006.

In 2008 The Return was performed at Artscape and had a successful run at the Grahamstown Festival in 2009, and the Black Theatre Festival [1] in North Carolina.

A new version of The Sacrifice of Kreli was written for and produced by New Africa Theatre in 2001, with whom she works in Cape Town as lecturer and director.

She directed Nothing but the Truth (2012).

Awards, etc

At the Black Theatre Festival in North Carolina she received a Life-Long Achievement Award (2009).

She won Naledi's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.


Astbury 1979.

Pat Scwartz 1988.

Tucker, 1997.

Cape Times 30 July 1998.

Mail and Guardian 29 November 2001.

The Citizen, 18 March 2014.

See also ArtsLink 2008.

Go to ESAT Bibliography

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