Theatre, Drama, and Performance in Post-apartheid South Africa
Edited By Greg Homann and Marc Maufort
Zakes Mda: The Satirist
Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
In the 1980s, many people would not have associated Zakes Mda with literary drama because his activities in the theatre at that time revolved around communication and education for developmental purposes. At this time Mda utilised theatre for development (TfD) as a didactic tool for educating and conscientising the rural poor about the world they live in. To Mda, TfD’s emphasis on community participation was a means of giving the people a voice to deliberate on things that could change their lives for the better. Organisation of TfD activities in local communities is a way to integrate, empower and educate the local people – men and women, adults and children – on how to improve their general livelihood. Theatre for development’s emphasis on community participation aligns with the Peasants’ Charter of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO):
Participation by the people in the institutions and systems which govern their lives is a basic human right and also essential for realignment of political power in favour of disadvantaged groups and for social and economic development. Rural development strategies can realise their full potential only through the motivation, active involvement and organisation at the grassroots level of rural people, with special emphasis on the least advantaged, in conceptualising and designing policies and programmes and in creating administrative, social and economic institutions, including cooperative and other voluntary forms of organisation for implementing and evaluating...
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