Celebrating women in history and those making history
Ntsako Mkhabela is a theatre writer, director and producer with honours degrees in dramatic arts and development sociology from the University of the Witwatersrand. Inspired by Chinua Achebe who tasks the writer with the role of re-imagining alternative realities for society Mkhabela’s work tries to link the creative process of the arts and the study of society. She firmly believes that the art and the world around can not be separated and that as an artist she has a responsibility to the world around her.
Mkhabela has written several plays which have been performed at national festivals. In 2008 her presentation of By the Apricot Trees received the best graduating directing student award at the Wits School of the arts. Mkhabela also represented the school as the Wits presentation at the National arts Festival in 2009 with her play Sis Dolls. Mkhabela was part of the Writers on stage Windybrow programme where she developed and directed By the Apricot Tress. Mkhabela has not only worked as a writer and director but has also done work as a lighting designer, stage manager and producer for theatre. Mkhabela is currently working on a number of plays “the smell of rose”, ” the sound of silence” and :emaweni”.
Mkhabela believes directing is an art of humility. The craft relies on the director’s ability to tap into the talents and passions of the team in translating and transforming the vision or hunch in the mind of the director into a tangible, beautiful staged art owned by the team. The isolated yet collective nature of the craft fascinates her.
Mkhabela is director of Miyela – a youth civil society organisation working to get young people to recognize their role and responsibility as active citizens, the organisations rund tutoring programs in under performing schools and launched the Mzansi spelling bee in 2012.