The Bells of Amersfoort

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A 2002 full-length play by Zakes Mda. Published in Fools, Bells and the Habit of Eating: Three Satires (2002) by Wits University Press.


Dealing with the problems and challenges of the post-apartheid society in the Rainbow Nation, the play looks at South Africans living in exile and the central character is a black woman, Thami Walaza, who has lived in exile in the small town of Amersfoort in the Netherlands for twenty years.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

2002: After an initial run in the Netherlands, the play premiéred in South Africa at the Grahamstown Festival in 2002, co-produced by the Sibikwa Players and De Nieuw Amsterdam Theatre Company from the Netherlands. The production was directed by Dutch director Aram Adriaanse and the cast was a combination of Dutch and South African actors, including: Thabang Masupha ( as Thami Walaza), Macebo Mavuso, Reinier Bulder (Netherlands), Suzanne Bakker (Netherlands), Maikel August van Hetten (Suriname), Marie-Christine Op den Kelder (Netherlands), Sibu Gcilitshana (Netherlands), Zakes Zakhele Simango and Marvin Kolk (Netherlands). The same production was subsequently staged in the Baxter Theatre and the Theatre on the Square.

2004: Staged in the Arena Theatre at the UCT in 2004, directed by Thoko Ntshinga, with Nosomi Mdyesha as Tami Walaza.


Die Burger, 6 & 13 July 2002.

The Star, 26 July 2002.

City Press, 28 July 2002.

The Sowetan, 28 & 29 July 2002.

Business Day, 31 July 2002.

Sunday Independent, 4 August 2002.

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