The best of Zabalaza returns to Baxter

Winner of the Best of Zabalaza 2017, Thobani Nzuza, in Boy Ntulikazi.

Boy Ntulikazi, winner of the Best of Zabalaza 2017, will be staged at the Baxter Theatre’s Golden Arrow Studio until Saturday May 13.

Written by Thobani Nzuza and Kagiso Tsimakwane, the powerful one hander drama examines the far-reaching implications of decisions taken by individuals and the possible devastating impact those decisions can have on future generations.

Thobani’s finely-crafted physical performance is enhanced by the accompaniment of live music created by Nhlanhla Zondi.

Original direction is by Kagiso but recently Thobani has directed himself in the production.

Thobani also received the Best Actor award at the seventh annual Zabalaza Theatre Festival. As part of its commitment to development the Best of Zabalaza production winner receives a full run and the opportunity to be staged to a wider audience.

And Boy Ntulikazi is the first Best of Zabalaza winner from KwaZulu -Natal. The play was originally performed at the Isigcawu Festival in Durban where Nzuza received the Best Actor award, followed by the Imbewu Festival, the Durban University of Technology New Playwrights’ Festival, the Uhuru Festival, the 2016 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown and, most recently, at the Joburg Theatre.

A 14-year-old girl living with her parents in extreme hardship and poverty, falls pregnant and decides to leave her home, fearing that they will not accept her child. She gives birth to a healthy baby boy. Scared, agitated and naïve, she has no one to turn to, so she goes to the nearby river and places the baby on a rock at the river bank, hoping that the strong winds of July (Ntulikazi) will push the baby into the river.

She leaves the baby on the rock and walks away. Years later the child has become a young man, questioning his own identity in an effort to understand, so he sets out in search of his mother, but with devastating consequences.

“I am really very happy that my work will be seen by a new and different audience,” says Thobani. “My main aim of coming to the Zabalaza Theatre Festival was to share my story and to learn from others, not expecting to win two awards. I also never really thought that at this age I will be a published playwright. It’s an honour and I am thankful to the Baxter and Zabalaza. To have a full season of the play was always a dream of mine and this has now come true. What is most surprising, is this has been achieved in a different province, far away from home.”

Tickets are R85 and booking is through Computicket.

For discounted corporate, schools or block-bookings, charities or fundraisers, contact Sharon on 021 680 3962, email or Carmen on 021 680 3993, email