The First South African

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The First South African is a play by Fatima Dike. A multilingual (English, Afrikaans, isiXhosa and “Tsotsitaal”) play based on a real case where a son is born to a black woman and a white man. The son turns out to be white, but is brought up black and even undergoes initiation rites. The play examines the pressures which are placed on such a man and his family.

The original text

The text was published by Ravan Press 1979. ISBN 9780869750865.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1977: This was Fatima Dike’s first play as resident playwright at The Space (Cape Town) and was first performed there in 1977, directed and lit by Dimitri Nicolas-Fanourakis with Nomhle Nkonyeni (Mother), Themba Fasi, Joe Hartzenberg (Rooi), Thabiso Koti, Kholeka Lonzi, Peter Lubelwana (Max), Sam Phillips, Tiny Skefile and Zak Skweyiya (Father), all of the Sechaba Group. Set by John Nankin and Jacob Alexander, the stage manager was Pam Mills.


Astbury 1979.

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