Wathint' Abafazi, Wathint' Imbokodo
Wathint' Abafazi, Wathint' Imbokodo ("You strike the women, you strike a/the rock") is a workshopped play by Phyllis Klotz, Thobeka Macutyana, Nomvula Qosha and Poppy Tsira (calling themselves Vusisizwe Players).
More often referred to by the English title of You Strike a Woman, You Strike a Rock. The Xhosa title was apparently used initially, also in the published version of the text, but the 2006 production used the English title.
The original text
Utilizing the title of the signature song of the 1956 women's march as its title and theme, and dealing with the trials and tribulations of three women in Crossroads squatter camp outside Cape Town, the play was workshopped by Phyllis Klotz, Thobeka Macutyana, Nomvula Qosha and Poppy Tsira (calling themselves Vusisizwe Players). In Itumeleng Wa-Lehure's CV he claims that he wrote the play, and he does seem to be credited as part of the ensemble. However, most sources accept it as a group creation, facilitated and directed by Klotz.
Originally developed by Vusisizwe Players, it was first produced by the Communty Arts Project in Cape Town in 1986, then toured the country for a long time, also being performed internationally (e.g. in New York in 1988, and in Birmingham and London with a UK cast in 2005).
Translations and adaptations
Performance history in South Africa
2006: Revived with a new cast in celebration of the 1956 Women's March, from which the original title derives. Done by Connie Chiume, Poppy Tsira and Busi Zolufa at the Market Theatre, the Arena State Theatre and the Baxter's Sanlam Studio, directed by Phyllis Klotz.
City Press, 6 August 2006.
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