ASSITEJ South Africa has announced the winner of their 2nd African Playwriting competition. The 2019 contest attracted almost 40 submissions from all over the continent, including Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sudan, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. A shortlist of 8 plays was announced in December 2018, including 3 plays from the greater African Continent, and 5 from South Africa.

ASSITEJ SA partnered with Deirdré Kelly Lavrakas and Kim Peter Kovac of the John F Kennedy Centre’s New Visions/New Voices Festival program in Washington DC, USA, to select the mentors for the shortlisted plays. They were joined by Karin Serres from France and Tony Mack from Australia, all of “Write Local Play Global,” who reached out to the mentors and connected them to the writers. Each playwright on the shortlist was paired with an expert from the international ASSITEJ network of professionals for online mentoring, coaching, and dramaturgy. Below are the results.

Winning play:

Dipalo by Selloane Mokuku (South Africa) and Ginni Manning (UK)


 Son Of The Nile, by Afeif Ismail, (Sudan); Co-transcreated from Arabic by Vivienne Glance and Afeif Ismail

–  The Book Of Afrancientec by Lungile Mncube (South Africa)

Fragments by Nwabisa Plaatjie (South Africa)

The Terrified Tokoloshe by Megan Furniss (South Africa)

Patches by Paul Ugbede (Kenya)

Hannah And The Angel by Alexander Nderitu (Kenya)

Soldierlands by Tsungayi Hatitye (Zimbabwe)

The ASSITEJ African Playwriting Competition’s stated aim is to nurture and identify new plays written by African writers which will resonate with South African and African audiences aged 19 and below. The winning play will be produced and presented at the Cradle of Creativity 2019, a Biennial International Festival of Theatre for Young Audiences in South Africa to be held at the Baxter Theatre Centre in Cape Town from 20 to 25 August 2019.

The winner of the 2019 playwriting contest was unveiled on 20th March, which is celebrated by ASSITEJ members in more than 100 countries across the globe as the “World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People.”

Since 2017, ASSITEJ (the Association Internationale du Théâtre pour l’Enfance et la Jeunesse, or International Association of Theatre for Children and Young) has partnered with ITI and UNIMA to celebrate the power of performing arts, through an initiative dubbed “World Performance Week” which includes World Day of Theatre for Children (March 20), World Puppetry Day (March 21) and World Theatre Day (March 27).

take a child to theatre pic

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This post was written by Alexander Nderitu.

The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.