Arts and entertainment in the spotlight in this week’s Play Your Part


abigailAbigail Kubeka has played a major role in the evolution of South African music over the years











The second episode of Brand South Africa’s Play Your Part television series, which airs on SABC 2 on Sunday 22 June at 9pm, will feature a selection of inspiring South Africans who have found fame in the local art, literature and entertainment industries.

Singer, songwriter, musical arranger and actress, Abigail Kubeka, has played a major role in the evolution of South African music over the years. Following the destruction of trendy Sophiatown in Johannesburg in the 1950s, Kubeka helped preserve many of the suburb’s well-known musical and cultural traditions.

Johnny Clegg’s cross-cultural influence in South Africa – and across the world – as the “White Zulu” also features in the episode, as do a few of his protest songs performed during apartheid, especially the then-controversial Asimbonanga. Clegg has recently returned from a tour to the USA, and the segment looks at his international influence and the role he’s played in spreading a bit of South African culture across the globe.

Also featuring is Ian Gabriel, an established talent in the film industry and director of the critically acclaimed Four Corners. Four Corners is a poignant look at gang violence, and juxtaposes South Africa’s film talent with the harsh realities of township life. The movie is a testament to the film industry’s role in communicating the country’s problems to encourage South Africans to help solve them.

James Ngcobo, the first black artistic director of the Market Theatre, also known as the “Theatre of the Struggle”, makes an appearance in this episode. We look at the trials of the man whose life began as a boy from KwaMashu Township, born to a maid and a factory worker. The episode also discusses how theatre has helped to unite South Africans of all races.

Bothale Boikayo, a Mafikeng local who won SA’s Got Talent in 2012 also features. We discuss her belief that the only way to change the world is to start with changing one person’s life and giving people a purpose and a goal to look forward to. We also look at her plans for the future.

Finally, acclaimed author of speculative fiction novels Moxyland and Zoo City – the latter recently bought by Leonardo di Caprio’s production company – Beukes’ vision of the future South Africa is both utopic and dystopic when considering Moxyland. We look at why Beukes envisioned South Africa’s future as she did, and whether her ideas have changed since the release of the popular novel.