Ubuntu Bomhlaba – The Humaneness of the World

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A song-and-dance play workshopped by Smal Ndaba and Phyllis Klotz with a large cast at their Sibikwa Community Theatre Project in 1993.

Performance history in South Africa

Premièred at the Grahamstown Festival in 1993, directed by Smal Ndaba and Phyllis Klotz, with music by Boy Ngwenya. Same production staged in the Tesson Theatre at the Johannesburg Civic in 1994.


An exploration of the tribulations experienced by the inhabitants of an African village when they fail to respect the traditions and rituals of their culture. It tells the story of Zondi's two sons Bhekifa and Sizwe. Zondi had a vision in which he was commanded that all babas should be subjected to a (cruel) ritual to purify them of all the evil spirits present in every human. The ritual is accepted and practised in the village and all is well with the villagers. Then Zondi's second child is born and he cannot get himself to perform the painful ritual. A devastating drought strikes the village. To save the community Bhekifa and Sizwe and their wives are banned from the village. They arrive in another village where warring factions are tearing the community apart and they are forced to deny their blood relationship, with devastating consequences.

Translations and adaptations


National Arts Festival programme, 1993. 39.

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