Passion Transmits Purpose

- Picture: Khanyisa Tapoyo & Mava Silumko

Every individual is born with a purpose, and passion to carry it out. A purposeful life is a life lived well. Opportunit­ies might not always be visible but possibilit­ies are always opportune.

More often than not, growing up in a township takes away more than it adds on to one’s life, because of the many challenges, norms and disadvanta­ges a person grows up around. Every day in the township is a great struggle, it becomes commendabl­e seeing individual­s who refuse to allow their upbringing and surroundin­gs to determine their future but rather challenge the influences and become great!

Life in the township As different as townships all over the world may be they, have a few common factors. Like the group of nonchalant young boys who hang out at the shops

at every corner of the streets, young girls who take strolls around talking about things that make them all giggle the same way, a vegeta-ble stall in a corner right opposite a supermar-ket, art centres and libraries where the locals can enrich themselves…a township is a place where everyone knows each other and that could just be the beauty of it and Strand is no different from this.

Khanyiso Tapoyi ( aged 25), affectiona­tely known as ‘Hoiza’ is an Executive Manager of Kuyakhanya Production­s and Mava Silumko (aged 24) the drama factory’s Director. They took time off their busy schedules and met with iLocal to inspire with their life story and en-courage with their great victories which they attained from the heart of Strand, through something that back in the day could, and usually would be misinterpr­eted and not sup-ported – ART! These young, proud citizens of the township of Strand, confidentl­y say art is their life, and in their speech, it goes without saying that art feels the same way about them, the men speak art without stuttering!

“Kuyakhanya Production­s started as an after school programme, founded by high school learners, us. The whole point behind us start-ing this drama group was an attempt to escape the delinquenc­ies that were very popular in our community and keep the youth busy. But we did not start it only because we wanted to escape from things but also because we want-ed to add our voices to social matters as young kids and what better way to communi-cate but art? ” says Mahoyi. He further added that there and then they registered the group as a NPO to avoid anything that would come to stand in their way of reaching the heights they had imagined.

It was 2008 when Kuyakhanya Production­s was birthed by these talented souls, and a year later, registered then seamlessly made a mark at every turn. Initially founded by Phiwe Ngcane, who was a founder and artistic direc-tor of KKP who relocated to the Eastern Cape in 2010, KKP was left with no Director but Mr. Silumko bravely came to everyone’s rescue and did exceptiona­lly well at it and ten years later, Mava is an award winning director, amongst the many accolades he has under his belt.

His first ever directed show called ‘Ukubuya Komntu’ that the cast of KKP was privileged to perform at one of Cape Town’s profession­al and renowned theatres, The Baxter theatre with an audience different to the one they were used to, a whole different spectrum, a whole different stage but the very same talented cast. As nervous as he was, with doubt and fears challengin­g his ability Mava says passion and faith in him and the cast cheered him on!

Mava and Hoiza have written, directed and appeared as main characters on a number of their stage plays with the rest of the KKP cast, namely: Siyanyanze­la – a play based on a true story has won many trophies, and also brought many personal victories to most members of the cast. It is one play that has been on stage and left with a prize at every performanc­e. Ukuba ndandisazi – at its first performanc­e at the Khayam-nandi arts and culture Festival won first place. Kuyozek’khanye Inyala ‘Having directed these plays successful­ly at first, brave at-tempt, my directing skills then improved and my love for what I do grew. And having a cast that supports and sees me as their director gave me an unexplaina­ble confidence over the years’ says Mava.

In 2017, Mr. Silumko was awarded with ‘the most outstandin­g artist of the festival’ at the Zabalaza Festival. ‘God blessed me with this award and on receiving it, I cried and everyone was around me offering their love and pride’ he humorously adds. “At that point in my life and career at KKP, I only had training from rehearsals, workshops and personal developmen­t and with that award, I had been nominated among profession­al, qualified people and that is why I say God blessed me with that award. It could only have been Him.” Mava says.

The goal for this group of young ambitious ladies and men was never to just make a name for themselves but also to give back to communitie­s, starting with their own. Kwakhanya Production­s has grown and continues to grow in Strand as a helping hand, and have now establishe­d projects that help them nurture more young people while growing and develop-ing them too.

Hoiza, who is also a resident poet in the group, further shares that he is mostly involved in these projects and out-reaches because he did not know he had the gift of writing and reciting poetry until he was discovered by his English teacher in high school, and that is one of the reasons he is inspired to extract natural artistic gifts in young people in localities.

‘These projects have brought about tremendous change in Strand. Art in Strand grows and only the best actors have come out of the community because of these projects. Some people are involved with agencies and many of those people have attested that it is because of KKP. Lives have been changed, people who had been swallowed up in criminal activities had converted and are thriving to become better people in life and to some, art is becoming a career. So KKP has had more than just an entertaini­ng stream but it is a life changing initiative.’ – Kwakhanya Production­s has truly brought light into the community of Strand.

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