10 Years Of Great Storytelling

Soweto Theatre marks a 10 year milestone. To celebrate this momentous occasion, The Theatre  has a programme filled with poetry, comedy and music from thespians who have graced our stages.
The attractive Soweto Theatre, which boasts state of the art architecture, with its three shiny cubes, one red, blue and yellow sits in the heart of the emerging Jabulani commercial node is set to mark the 10 years anniversary with an array of special insights into the history of this monumental Theatre. This is set to be featured throughout the month of May, honouring significant events from the past, some through the eyes of the people and its foundation, its heights and looking forward to forthcoming events.
In it’s 10 years, Soweto Theatre has hosted legends both local and international such as Dr John Kani, Sello Maake ka Ncube, Hugh Masikela, Dr Richard Maponya and some South African Award winning artists from Zakes Bantwini, Thandiswa Mazwai, Mzwakhe Mbuli ,Sibongile Khumalo amongst many.
On 25 May, Soweto will come alive as the Theatre lights up with a Gala night. This official prestigious event is expected to be attended by City officials, members of local actor and Theatre guilds, playwrights, theatre producers, musicians, artists and the press .
The festivities will continue to the weekend, kicking off with the Soweto Comdey festival comedians,who will keep the theatre in stiches as J-Boogy, Pele Pele give us a does of laughter on Friday 27th May. The  annual Africa Day Groove concert on Saturday 28 May featuring renowned artists from SJAVA, Peanut Butter and Jam, Malcom Jiyane, Bcuc, Crazey Black Dudes,The Brothers Move On, Nathi B, Dj Mofaya amongst many.
On Sunday 29 May the legendary Seven colour Sundays, is set to feed your senses with some flavour, music, aromas and add a whole lot of colour to the foyer.
Staging in the Red Theatre on the 29th will be the Legends Tribute concert lead by South African Legend, Sipho Hostix Mabuse, who will be sharing the stage with PJ Powers, Moses Ngwenya, Soul brother, Pappa and Blondie and Juluka. This week will end the celebrations on major accord.
At the heart of the Theatre sits the iconic and newly renovated Amphitheatre. Built in 1952, this was one of the few leisure facilities in Soweto during the apartheid regime. It is a place of political significance and one of the few state structures which escaped being torched during the 1976 Student Uprising. From the sixties, the Jabulani Amphitheatre was the venue for jazz festivals which were later consolidated into the Soweto National Jazz Festival in the seventies.
When one walks into the Soweto Theatre you are treated to a world class variety of textures, materials, angles and shapes, all talking to one another in harmony in a building that makes a bold statement in Jabulani, a suburb that is undergoing a lift-off.
As we are gearing up to celebrate 10 years we take a moment to reminisce on the theatre’s opening show on 25 May 2012 . The first performance to bring the stage to life was an offering by South African artists Gloria Bosman and Concord Nkabinde. Following their performances the Theatre was graced by Malian singer-songwriter Salif Keita.
The first play to be staged was, The Suitcase ,an adaptation of Es’kia Mphahlele’s  “The Suitcase” Directed by South African stage, television and film Director and Actor James Ngcobo.
The story was written by a Sowetan, performed in a mix of English, Zulu and Sotho and stared some of the country’s most well-known performers: Siyabonga Thwala, Xolile Tshabalala, Samson Khumalo and Bheki Mkhwane.
In his address during the opening night of the play, Ngcobo described how there has been a cry for years about taking theatre to the people. He further described the honour of being the first director to stage a production at the new venue.
Soweto Theatre has evolved into a cultural complex for theatre, music, dance and allied arts. Today, it remains at the forefront of South African entertainment spaces, actively encouraging new works that continue to reach international stages.
10 years later Sowetans have witnessed the birth of the Iconic annual programs including Seven Colour Sundays, one of South Africa’ s best markets. Attracting market goers from all over Joburg and the world. This event happens every last Sunday of the month at the Soweto Theatre Forecourt.
Seven Colour Sundays has proved to be a great space for the growth of young businesses and performers. Artists and crafters are given a platform to exhibit, market and sell their works. The Market is also known as a premium live music event, featuring some of South Africa’s best talents, as well as unearthing entrepreneurs to be reckoned with.
In the face of its 10th-year existence, the Soweto Theatre complex retains the ambiance and spirit of Sowetans. From Plays that premiered over the years to housing the Soweto Gospel Choir Grammy and world-acclaimed Theatre productions such as Sophia Town and Africa Umoja, the Theatre has proven to be the home of iconic storytelling.
As we celebrate a decade, we invite everyone to play a role. By working together, we can improve continuing professional development and opportunities for artists; promote quality and shared values across the arts spectrum and create the conditions within which change can continue to take place”; said Vincent Motau, General Manager at Soweto Theatre.
Through its new look and feel, the Soweto Theatre commits to continue being a space that is engaging, inspiring, entertaining and looks forward to contributing to the growth of Sowetan entrepreneurs, artist and innovators.
The following Covid-19 level one protocols will be adhered to:

  • All guests must wear masks and sanitise upon entrance into the Soweto Theatre.
  • Audience is limited to 50% of venue capacity.
  • Health questionnaire screening at all entrances with a temperature check.
  • Each guest must produce their Identity Documents upon entrance in order to complete the health questionnaire.
  • Inside the venue, social distancing is strictly adhered to.