‘Sizwe Bansi is dead’ goes to Mibawa Café


After staging the play titled Sizwe Bansi is dead at Arts Café in Blantyre, Nanzikambe Arts in collaboration with Lions Theatre is back with the play and this time staging it at Mibawa Café this coming Wednesday night.

Sizwe Banzi Is Dead (originally produced and published as: Sizwe Bansi is Dead) is a play by Athol Fugard, written collaboratively with two South African actors, John Kani, and Winston Ntshona, both of whom appeared in the original production.

The plays’ premiere, according to available information, occurred on 8 October 1972 at the Space Theatre, Cape Town, South Africa and its subsequent British première won a London Theatre Critics Award for the Best Play of 1974.


Fugard, a playwright, novelist, actor and director, is best known for his political plays opposing the South African system of apartheid.

The play which tells the story of Styles and Sizwe Bansi, who is condemned by his government to a life of poverty has been adapted by Nanzikambe and Lions Theatre.

This is a two man act which stars Misheck Mzumara and Thlupego Chisiza.


Mzumara said there have been calls from the public that they should restage the play hence doing it now.

“There have been calls from various quarters wanting to see the show and we feel Blantyre is big. The play was produced way back in South Africa, but it is still showing to this very day and right now it is on tour to in USA,” he said.

Mzumara added that they do not want to do a show at one venue and dump it for another one.

“Sometimes people have preference for venues. They may go to one venue and never to another despite of what is happening there. We want to go to where the people are, follow them to where they frequent. In such a way, they may appreciate art,” he said.

Mzumara said just like preachers follow people to various places to preach the word of God, they feel art also needs enthusiasm hence taking Sizwe Bansi is Dead to Mibawa Café.

He said they appreciate the diversity that Mibawa Cafe is offering.

“You may wish to know that we moved out of Arts Café in Naperi and we are still building our place in Chimwankhunda. There are few theatre places and we are happy to be given a platform at Mibawa,” said Mzumara.

He also said they will be taking the play to other areas outside Blantyre but was quick to point out that they were struggling to get venues in other areas.

“For instance we are struggling with Zomba at the moment. Chanco hasn’t opened; it’s an uphill task searching for venues there,” he said.

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