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Arts honours trailblazer, activist Maxeke

Award-winning actress, Denise Newman, will unfold the story of Dulcie September in “Cold Case - Dulcie September Re-visited” from August 9 to 11. Picture: Supplied

Award-winning actress, Denise Newman, will unfold the story of Dulcie September in “Cold Case - Dulcie September Re-visited” from August 9 to 11. Picture: Supplied

Published Jul 28, 2021


Cape Town - The 15th annual Women’s Humanity Arts Festival will commemorate the 150th anniversary of freedom hero Charlotte Maxeke’s birth, recognising her as an inspiration and trailblazer.

The Artscape Theatre will once again celebrate National Women’s Day with the annual festival, envisaged as a hybrid stage and online event, adhering to disaster regulations.

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The Artscape Theatre's Women’s Humanity Walk will go virtual this year, and ask women to walk for 3kms or 30 minutes

The theme of this year’s festival is The Year of Charlotte Maxeke, who was a leader and activist, one of the first black women graduates in South Africa and one of the first black South Africans to fight for freedom from exploitative and social conditions of African women.

As an early opponent of passes for black women, Maxeke also helped organise the first major anti-pass march in Bloemfontein in 1913.

Artscape chief executive Marlene le Roux said the Humanity Walk, in conjunction with Woman Zone, was a focal point of the festival, and was going virtual this year.

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“Now, more than ever, is the time to empower ourselves and to empower other women by focussing on the challenges of our society such as gender-based violence and homophobia, while giving a voice to persons with disabilities. This festival seeks to encourage uncomfortable conversations through using the arts as a conduit to instil confidence and not letting your circumstances define you.

“You are the only real storyteller of your life and by doing so, you not only open doors for others, you help build the strong nation we all fought for – free from all kinds of social diseases.

“Our theme specifically includes the name of Charlotte Maxeke who is and should be an inspiration and shining example to us all as she epitomises the word empowerment.”

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All women have been invited to walk in their own neighbourhood or wherever they choose for 3kms or 30minutes. They can walk and talk with a new friend, record it, either as a video clip or selfie, and post it with their names and hashtag #Artscape50

#WomensHumanityWalk2021 on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter as well as tag @artscapetheatrecentre @womanzonect and if possible.

As part of the festival, in the Arena Theatre award-winning actress Denise Newman will unpack the story of Dulcie September in Cold Case – Dulcie September Re-visited from August 9 to 11.

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Poetry is also on the cards with Silhoeët van ’n Vrou.

Compiled and performed by Dean Balie, through an explorative music and voice soundscape, it’s a tribute to the women that were, the women that are and the women that will be.

Carmen the ballet, performed by the Cape Town City Ballet, will showcase in the Opera House, telling the story of a girl and her soldier lover.

Sê Groete vir Ma, with Hannes van Wyk will also be part of the festival line-up; the online streaming will take place from August 23 to 31.

In his one-man play, Hannes van Wyk portrays a young man, Regardt Roberts van Aswegen, whose entire development, well-being and ill-being revolve around the person who brought him into this world … his mother.

Visit for more information, for participating organisations and for the full festival programme.

Cape Times

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