Things Are Bad – Ijumpile Lendaba (2007)

Things are Bad – Ijumpile Lendaba

Ikhwezi Festival
Cape Town, South Africa
April 10 – 21, 2007

When young people find crime to be a source of entertainment, something is wrong. Things Are Bad – Ijumpile Lendabaexamines examines the terrifying life in the townships, where crime is rampant. The play looks beyond gangsterism and seeks to explore the connections between criminals, the community, the police and the government.  By questioning the society in which we live, the play hopes to show how we can all make a difference.

The play was first performed as part of the Ikhwezi Festival at the Baxter Theatre in Cape Town, South Africa as a collaboration between Mopo Productions, AKAMbongo and Scapegoat Carnivale Theatre.

Following the festival production, the producers created a first-of-its-kind tour of the play to many of the large black townships that are in and surround the Cape Town area. For these performances, a nominal fee of 5 Rand (approx. 25 Canadian cents) was charged in order to ensure that the the financially struggling community members were able to see the play, but also to encourage the practice of payment for art. Locations as various as community halls, gymnasiums, high school auditoriums and library rooms were transformed into theatre spaces. Every show was filled to capacity (and beyond) and the talk-back sessions by the artists were stimulating, challenging and thought provoking.

The tour visited Khayelitsha, Nyanga, Ocean View, Langa, Mbekweni (Paarl), Macassar and Bo-Kaap, all of which are townships in and around Cape Town, South Africa.


Written and directed by Thami Mbongo
Dramaturgy and Co-directors: Alison Darcy & Andile Nebulane
Produced by Maurice Podbrey for Mopo Productions, in association with AKAMbongo and Scapegoat Carnivale Theatre
Marketing and Tour Manager: Natalie Harper
Stage Manager: Katy Streek
Cast: Mfundo Hashe, Phumzile Mangali, Earl Mentor, Andile Nebulane, Mziwandile Nofemele, Amina Nordien, Asanda Rilityana

Thami Mbongo is a South African actor best known for his role as Moses Gumede in the television drama series Shooting Stars, since September 2007. Mbongo was born and grew up in Mbekweni, Paarl, South Africa and is nationally recognized as a performer, facilitator, educator, writer, poet and director. Some of Mbongo’s other plays include Kodwa Mama, Youth: A Force for Change, 16 Days, African Homecoming, Uhuru, Ikhaya Likhaya, Ubizo – Voices of Elok’shini. He has directed several award-winning productions, such as Ingcambu – The Root (Oudtshoorn D.E.C Drama Festival, 1998), Ijumpile Lendaba (Artscape HS Drama Festival, 2001) and Aboguluva Regime (National Stop Crime Drama Festival, 2005).

The playwright and cast are all graduates of AMAC and UCT drama departments.