What Must Fall? | Webinar With Siphokazi Jonas on 13th October at 15H00

What Must Fall? | Webinar

What Must Fall? | Webinar

If we were to conduct a comparative study of anti-Colonial / anti-Apartheid liberation struggles and the #Fallism Movement, we would find that one of the defining differences between these two is the (supposed) clarity of enemy and purpose in the former. Who were we taking down? 
The colonial or Apartheid government. What did we want? Political power for the majority, human rights and access to resources that had been previously denied.
 All other nuanced complexities were secondary to these primary pressures.

The #Fallism movement problematized the way in which the liberation struggles constructed routes to freedom. It drew attention to the fact that winning these struggles had not resulted in the total elimination of oppression. It also noted that oppression was not a singularly defined experience, and that its manifestations could be discovered at the intersection of various identities and socio-economic categories that a singular body occupies.

In deference to the #Fallism movement’s focus on intersectionality, we wanted to explore how one identifies what must fall next? Our featured poets who have themselves been at the center of resistance/empowerment activity in their respective countries will share their journeys to intersectional activism. We’ll explore how they construct ‘the enemy’, the role that youthful oblivion and hindsight play in this process. and how they gauge the impact of their work on the things have and need to keep on falling!

Moderator: Quaz Roodt
Panellists: Siphokazi Jonas, Jim Pascual, Roche Kester

Reflections in pictures of the Desmond Tutu 12th International Peace Lecture with Siphokazi Jonas

Some pictures of a special evening at the City Hall last night (7th October 2022), where Siphokazi Jonas had the honour of opening the 12th International Peace Lecture

This year’s Peace Lecture was delivered by the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, who appeared with best-selling author Doug Abrams.

Siphokazi Jonas to open the 12th Annual Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture


Desmond Tutu

The 12th Annual Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture returns on 7 October 2022, marking the first Lecture since Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s passing at the end of 2021.

The event is being held on Archbishop Tutu’s birthday and will honour his extraordinary life while reflecting his legacy into the future.

The heart of the Peace Lecture is rooted in the Foundation’s work to transform our collective consciousness through the courageous pursuit of healing, inspired by the legacy that Archbishop Tutu left for us. In the last few years, we all witnessed the devastating impact of a global pandemic, climate change and conflict. The Arch, as he was fondly known, held a lifelong conviction that one can only get through hard times by holding on to hope. As he put it, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.” In line with this, the 12th International Peace Lecture theme is: A Vision for Hope and Healing.

This year’s Peace Lecture will be delivered by the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Ms. Amina J. Mohammed, who will appear with best-selling author Doug Abrams. Deputy Secretary-General Mohammed is credited as being one of the key architects of the Sustainable Development Goals, setting an agenda for how we can develop flourishing societies and the planet.

She is a globally recognised leader in action to prevent climate change, having served as the Minister of Environment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Abrams is best-known for his collaborative work with Archbishop Tutu and the Dalai Lama to co-author The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World.

He has worked with other Nobel Laureates including Nelson Mandela, Jody Williams, and Elizabeth Blackburn, as well as many visionary luminaries like Stephen Hawking and Jane Goodall.

Chairperson of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, Niclas Kjellström-Matseke said, “Amina Mohammed, through her extraordinary work as a global leader can share an inspiring vision for global development.

This is well-paired with Doug Abrams’ intimate portraits and ability to draw out the wisdom of many of the elders of our times. I am confident that this will be a powerful moment for us to reimagine the possibilities of a bold future, shaped by collective healing and humanity.”

The Foundation’s “Festival of Hope” will include performances by musician, Vicky Sampson who will be joined by the South Africa Youth Choir.

Award-winning poet, playwright, and performer Siphokazi Jonas will also grace the stage, while the vibrant, female-driven social enterprise Marimba Jam will keep visitors entertained upon their arrival.

Siphokazi Jonas with the SAFTA award for #WeAreDyingHere
Siphokazi Jonas with the SAFTA award for #WeAreDyingHere

We are excited to receive our esteemed dignitaries to our first in-person lecture since the onset of the pandemic.

Visitors will also experience a curation of artworks by children from around the city, reflecting their own visions of hope and healing for the future.

We invite everyone to join us for this powerful dialogue at the Cape Town City Hall, 7 October 2022; 19h00-21h00.

Book your free tickets on quicket.co.za or stream the lecture on tutu.org.za or on the Foundation’s YouTube channel.

Mkhuseli by Siphokazi Jonas

From Litnet

Stemme | Voices | Amazwi is LitNet’s series of 15 short, powerful monologues, written by established and upcoming playwrights, presented in collaboration with Suidoosterfees, NATi and ATKV.

In Siphokazi Jonas’ Mkhuseli, a fallen star whose memory was wiped when it fell to earth, stands guard at a shoreline to save the spirits of the drowned. Peggy Mongoato performs the monologue, directed by Qondiswa James. Watch the performance in isiXhosa with English subtitles here:

In this video, Peggy Mongoato and director Qondiswa James discuss their approach to Siphokazi’s monologue text.

The original text in isiXhosa:


A figure standing on the shore looking out to the water. It is a star who was sent to earth centuries ago to guard the shoreline and prevent mysterious drownings. The people of the place would hear a voice calling them into the water and walk in, never to return. The star takes on different human forms to avoid detection, and its memory was wiped before reaching earth so it would not yearn for home. Lately it has been hearing the same voice calling and remembering fragments of its history.

“Who shut up the sea behind doors
    when it burst forth from the womb,
 when I made the clouds its garment
    and wrapped it in thick darkness,
 when I fixed limits for it
    and set its doors and bars in place
 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;
    here is where your proud waves halt’?

“Sondela emanzini.”

Libiza mna? Baninzi abahambi kufutshane nolwandle kodwa abeva nto. Ubomi buyaqhubeka. Xa ubizo lufika kuwe wedwa, ingaba lolwakho kuphela? Kudala ndime kule ndawo, ndityale iinyawo nengcinga kulomhlaba; ulikhaya kum ngoku. Ndisabele? Ngeentsuku zengqele, ndigrumba umngxunya, ndambathe isanti okwengubo esindayo. Maxa ligqatsa ilanga ndiye nditshonele ngasezantsi, kuvele intloko kuphela. Ayina mthunzi le indawo, kwinzingo zelixeshana, umqolo ungaphandle. Ndingummi wale ndawo, olunxweme. Ndithuthuzelwa ngumngeni ondibeke kule ndawo, umkhuseli wolunxweme. Ndikubona konke okwenzekayo – abafikayo, abangabuyiyo. Ndimi phakathi kwamaza nobomi. Inyawo zabo ziphaphatheka nomoya. Inyama yabemi beli iyonakala, bonzakala kukuhamba kwexesha, Amagama, iimbali, iimbuso, konke kumka nomoya, ndikhumbula konke okwenzeka kule ndawo, abo bandibonileyo bona bayandilibala lakutshona ilanga kuvuke inyanga.

“Sondela emanzini.”

Ndisabele? Ukusabela kukufa. Iphinde yandindwendwela imibono. Izingceba, ndizama ukuzicalucalula ndidibanise apha, ndidibanise phaya, kodwa kumfiliba. Mhla kuzala inyanga iphelela, iphezu kwentloko yam, kuduka namafu, ubusuku bufana nemini, kumnyama kumhlophe, ndiye ndiphinde ndibabone. Olu lwandle iba sisipili sam, ezinzulwini ndiye ndikhulule ubuntu kuvele umoya, ndiphande izinto zakudala endazilibalayo. Mhla ndivuka kolu nxweme, ndingenamzimba ndavuka ndingenankumbulo. Ndayiqokelela isanti ndayibumba, ndayenza umzimba, ndazakhela owam. Babuyile aba babini. Indoda nomfazi. Andibazi, kodwa ndiqinisekile baziwa ngumphefumlo. Xa ndibabona ngeliso lengcinga umlomo uyazivulekela, liyatyhudisa ilizwi liphuma kwimiphunga, ngomqala, liyazityekeza phezu kwamaza.




Andilazi eli thafa bakulo. Bancumelene. Abandihoyi. Ndiphi mna? Andiziboni kweli thafa kodwa ndiyayazi ndikhona phakathi kwabo, lo mbono uyanditshutshisa. Ndingawuthemba? Ndiqathwa lithemba? Bancumile, kodwa bayandishiya. Bancuma njani bendishiya?



“Ndilindeni, ndiyeza!”



Shwaka, ukukhanya! Amafu osula lo mbono, agquma ubuso benyanga, angcolisa isibhakbhaka angqimbilili, abiza umoya, kukho umsindo emanzini.

Ukufika kwam, ndazinika igama. Abantu bale ndawo babizana ngamagama, kwiilwimi ngeelwimi. Onegama uyasabela. Inyani yona, ayinamsebenzi, ndiphila ngeentsomi ukuhambisa amakhulu eminyaka ndilapha. Qashi, qashi, qashi, qashi, ndizalwa ngubani? Ngunonkala ohamba ngecala? Ziintaka ezigcwalisa isibhakabhaka? Emlonyeni wentlanzi enkulu, etica kolunxweme? Okanye ndifike ngamaza nemimoya ebhudlayo?

Mna ndithi ndizelwe yinyanga nelanga. Kwathi ke kaloku ngantsomi, ngobusuku obungaziwayo, kwinyanga yeSilimela suka ndavela kwisibhakabhaka. Oodade bam abasixhenxe, abazinkwenkwezi bekhona, bebukele, bendilindile. Andinalo igama kulentsomi, ndizithiya amagama amabini ndinguNyana, unyana wenyanga. Ndiphinde ndizibize uNtombi. Intombi yelanga. Nabaya oodade bam bexhonywe phezulu! uMaia, uElectra, uTaygete, uCelaeno, uAlcyone, uSterope, noMerope. Bavela xa ndibabiza, bekhatshwa yimvula. Xa ndizicingela, nam ndandiphakathi kweenkwenkwezi. Ubuso bam bufana nobenyanga …

“Sondela emanzini!”



“Ndilindeni, ndiyeza!”

Bandishiyele ntoni na? uNyana akalahlekanga ulahliwe. Kodwa ndiyakulinda, hleze badlule ngale ndlela kwakhona. Ndakuma kule ndawo mna Mkhuseli, ulwandle lungadluli apha. Abantu besisixeko, nabo bangadluli apha.

“Sondela emanzini.”

Ndikhetha uloyiko njengomhlobo wam. Ubunzulu bokungazi, nokungazazi, nokungaziwa buyandigubungela. Kubhalwe ntoni kule ncwadi imtyuba? Umzi owakhiwa phezu kwesanti uhamba nemimoya. Lo mzimba ngumzi wam. Ulilitye. Phakathi kwezulu nomhlaba.

“Sondela emanzini.”

An English translation of the text:


Who shut up the sea behind doors
when it burst forth from the womb,
when I made the clouds its garment
and wrapped it in thick darkness,
when I fixed limits for it
and set its doors and bars in place,
when I said, “This far you may come and no farther;
here is where your proud waves halt”?

“Come closer to the water.”

Is it calling me? There are many travellers near the sea, but they do not hear anything. Life goes on. When a calling comes to you alone, is it only for you? I have long stood in this place, planting feet and thought in this earth; you are my home, now. Must I respond? On cold days, I dig a hole and cover myself with the sand like a heavy blanket. When the sun gets hot, I tend to sink to the bottom, and only my head appears. This place does not have shade; in the moment of trouble, I am exposed. I am a citizen of this place, this coastal area. I am comforted by the challenge that has put me in this position as the coast protector. I see it all happen – newcomers, and the ones who never come back. I stand between the waves and life. Their feet blown in the wind. The flesh of the people of this country is perishing, damaged by the passage of time. Names, histories, kingdoms – all goes with the wind. I remember everything that happens in this place; those who see me forget me when the sun goes down and the moon rises.

“Come closer to the water.”

Must I respond? The reaction is death. Visions visit me again. It is pieces; I’m trying to sort them out here, put them together, but it’s not clear. When the moon is full, and it is over my head, the clouds are gone, the night is like day, dark and white, I see them again. This sea becomes my mirror; in the depths, I release my personality and become spiritual, exploring the old things I have forgotten. When I wake up on this beach, I have no body, and I wake up with no memory. I collect sand and mould it, make it into a body, and make my own. Two people come back. Husband and wife. I do not know them, but I am sure they are known by my soul. When I see them in my mind’s eye, my mouth opens; my voice comes out of my lungs, down the throat, and rolls over the waves.

“My mother! My father! Where are you?”

I do not know this forest they are in. They are smiling at each other. They are ignoring me. Where am I? I do not see myself in this forest, but I know I am in their midst; this vision haunts me. Can I trust it? Am I being fooled by faith? They are smiling, but they are leaving me alone. How are they smiling but leaving me?

“My mother! My father! Wait for me, I am coming! My mother! My father!”

Light disappears! Clouds that obscure the view, cover the face of the moon, darken the sky, call for air, and there is a noise in the water.

When I arrived, I gave myself a name. The local people call each other with names, in different languages. The one with names responds. The truth is, it doesn’t matter; I live by myths to pass hundreds of years here. Guess, guess, guess, guess whom I was born to? Is the crab walking sideways? Are the birds filling the sky? In the mouth of a big fish, landing on the shore? Or did I come with the waves and storms?

I say I was born of the moon and the sun. Once upon a time, on a strange night, in the month of June, I suddenly appeared in the sky. My seven sisters, who are the stars, were there watching and waiting for me. I have no name in this myth. I give myself two names: I am Son, the Son of the Moon. I also call myself Maiden – the Maiden of the Sun. And those sisters of mine hanging up there! Maia, Electra, Taygete, Celaeno, Alcyone, Sterope and Merope. They appear when I call them, accompanied by rain. When I think about it, I am also among the stars. My face is like the moon.

“Come closer to the water.”

“My mother! My father! Wait for me, I am coming!”

Why have they left me? The Son is not lost; he is abandoned. But I’ll wait, lest they pass this way again. When I stand in this place, I am the Protector; the sea does not pass here. The people of the city, too, do not pass by.

“Come closer to the water.”

I prefer fear as my friend. The depths of ignorance, ignoring myself and being ignored overshadow me. What is written in this salty book? A city built on sand is carried away by winds. This body is my home. It is a stone between heaven and earth.

“Come closer to the water.”

Stemme | Voices | Amazwi is supported by the National Arts Council.

Stemme | Voices | Amazwi is a New Writing project of LitNet and is supported by the LW Hiemstra Trust.

All the monologues are available here:

Stemme | Voices | Amazwi

Siphokazi thanks #WeAreDyingHere team. Official SAFTA pic below with the award

Again, on behalf of the entire #WeAreDyingHere team and all our partners, we are grateful for this recognition.

My hope is that this award will serve to bring attention to this story.

Further, my wish is that Poetry will be appreciated (and funded) for the power that it has to move and transform us.

This is the official SAFTA pic with the award.

Siphokazi Jonas with the SAFTA award for #WeAreDyingHere
Siphokazi Jonas with the SAFTA award for #WeAreDyingHere
Siphokazi Jonas with the SAFTA award for #WeAreDyingHere
Siphokazi Jonas with the SAFTA award for #WeAreDyingHere

#WeAreDyingHere is going to Sweden

Some really cool news, #WeAreDyingHere is going to Sweden! 

We’re honoured to be part of this amazing #SE_SA exchange with Hear My Voice. 

We’re taking the film and stage production to Gothenburg, Stockholm, and Uppsala along with individual performances and collaborations with the team. 

Tell somebody please.

Media statement: We congratulate Western Cape SAFTA winners

Media statement: We congratulate Western Cape SAFTA winners

The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport congratulates those from the Western Cape who emerged as winners at the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs) over the past weekend.

Local poet, writer and performer, Siphokazi Jonas, received top honours for her work in the category of Best Short Film. Jonas wrote the original screenplay for #WeAreDyingHere, which was awarded as the top film in this category. The film was executive produced by the Siya and Rachel Kholisi Foundation and will be available for viewing on local platform Showmax from 5 September (today).

The TV drama Suidooster, which is set and filmed in Cape Town, won in the category Best TV Soap. Director Amy Jephta, who hails from Mitchell’s Plain, walked away with the honours in the category Best Achievement in Directing – Feature Film for her film Barakat.

Minister Anroux Marais said: “We are very proud of the achievements of our local artists. They have shown that their work is making an impact not only in South Africa, but across the world. They are true ambassadors for the Western Cape and we celebrate them as local role-models.”

Tania Colyn
Head of Communications
Tel: 076 093 4913