Makukhanye Art Room Initiative

Makukhanye Art Room Initiative – Be inspired

In a nutshell

Makukhanye (''Let be the light'') Art Room, is an award winning Shack Theatre that is based in Khayelitsha, one of the biggest townships in South Africa. The Makukhanye Art Room is a space that works with amateurs and acclaimed professional artists from different art disciplines in providing them with a performance space, a home for them to create works, hold rehearsals, creative workshops, artistic consultations and debates.

What we do

The Makukhanye Art Room was established in 2007 in response to the scarcity of rehearsal and performance spaces in townships. This art room provides a space where 1000s of Black artists and others of colour, can gather together to practice their art and heal their communities.

Our space has been actively used by organisations, institutions and individuals such as the Baxter Theatre, Nants’inqayi, Klein Libertas Theatre, Youth on Top, Antigone in Africa, Mike van Graan, SAGA , Market Theatre Lab, Zanzolo and UKAO, to name but the few.

The shack theatre contains an audience of approximately 100 – 120 individuals and a maximum of 20 performers on its stage.

The aims of the Makukhanye Art Room Initiative include:

  • To make theatre accessible to communities and artists in need.
  • To use arts and culture activities as a means of telling the stories of the communities to an inclusive and diverse audience, and as a tool to empower our peers and fellow artists.
  • To provide space for mentorship programmes, artistic consultations, workshops, events, festivals and other cultural events.
  • To heal and console communes through theatre, arts and culture.
  • To create a home for the next generation, where their art can be practiced and performed.

How we do it

Daily Activities

MakuASH: Makukhanye Art Speaks & Heals Residency

  • Monday – Friday, from 10am – 3pm.
  • 15 unemployed artists engage in 2 classes per day. The classes focus on Theatre Making, Acting, Stage Craft, Arts Administration, Public Art Practice and Voice.

Afterschool Programme

  • Monday – Friday, 4pm – 8pm.
  • Makukhanye Art Room runs an Afterschool Programme for more than 50 school going children, aged 8 – 17 years.

Imbiza Yobusi Art Sessions

  • Friday from 4pm – 7pm
  • Makukhanye Art Room hosts Imbiza Yobusi Art Sessions, which involves open mic sessions for up and coming talent. Open stage and free entrace event hosted by MakuAsh and Resident group: ABAHAMBI.

Annual Events

•    Theatre4Change Arts Project
•    Healing & Teaching Females Workshop (27 May)
•    Vuka Mandela Theatreical Magic (18 July)
•    Amazing Women Arts Event (09 Aug)
•    Abongile Kroza One-Handers Festival (May/June)

On weekends, companies, community groups and organisations also utilises the Makukhanye Art Room space to implement their events and festivals.

What we have achieved

  • Thando Mzembe – The Play Room (Won Zwakala Festival 2014)
  • Bulelani Mabutyana – Worst of both words (Won Zabalaza Festival 2012)
  • Khayalethu Anthony – The Champion (Won Zabalaza Festival 2015 & Fleur Du Cap Awards)
  • Theatre4Change – Holy Contract (Performed at Makukhanye, Guga Sthebe and City Hall)
  • Cape Town Fringe Festival Award – Hottest Venue in CPT 2016
  • Fleur Du Cap Innovation in Theatre Award 2017
  • Cape Town Fringe 2017 – 8 Nominations and 2 Awards Awarded


The information for this project profile was provided by Mandisi Sindo of Makukhanye Art Room. For more information on this initiative, please contact:

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