Zakes Mda

Igweonu, Kene ORCID logoORCID: (2015) Zakes Mda. In: The Methuen drama guide to contemporary South African theatre. Middeke, Martin, Schnierer, Peter Paul and Homann, Greg, eds. Guides to contemporary drama . Bloomsbury Methuen Drama, London, UK, pp. 177-193. ISBN 9781408176702, pbk-ISBN 9781408176696. [Book Section]


Zakes Mda is one of Southern Africa’s most respected, innovative and audacious playwright, artist, poet and novelist. Through his works, Mda challenges the appalling social and economic conditions of millions of black South Africans during apartheid, much in the same vein as the popular anti-apartheid movements of that period, but at the same time he “goes against the grain of the performance traditions and politics of the same movement [i.e. black theatre movement of the apartheid era]” (Peterson, 1993: vii). Even though Mda focuses mainly on the experiences of black people in his works, depicting the harsh realities of their existence under apartheid for instance, he does not shy away from criticising what he perceives as the failure of post-apartheid South Africa in addressing some of the socio-economic inequalities that remain in the society. In fact, most of his plays, written in the period before the end of apartheid, are ‘prophetic’ in their articulation of the socio-economic inequalities that persist in post-apartheid South Africa and in much of post-independence Africa. The works explored in the essay show, as any serious study of the works of this audacious playwright, artist, poet and novelist will demonstrate, that, to borrow Ukaegbu’s words, ‘Mda’s work stands out for its use of a variety of theatrical devices, for its imagination, and for its urgency of thought’ (1998, p. 465).

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts
Item ID: 26755
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Kene Igweonu
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2019 08:51
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2020 12:45

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview
6 month trend
6 month trend

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.