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Can Themba’s bio play comes to Soweto Theatre!

From 10 to 21 May, Soweto audiences will be enthralled by the extraordinarily talented Sello Maake Ka-Ncube in the theatre masterpiece, The House of Truth.

JHB Theatre
Sello Maake kaNcube in The House of Truth PHOTOS CuePix/Jeffrey Stretton-Bell

‘A hit with the audiences!’ – ENCA Headline

Written by Siphiwo Mahala about the distinguished South African writer, Can Themba, and directed by Vanessa CookeThe play premiered to full houses and rave reviews at the 2016 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, after this it went to the Market Theatre. Laced with wit, humour and a deep sense of irony it reveals the circumstances that inspired some of Themba’s most intriguing works and covers some profound aspects of his life that are rarely written about. Themba’s complex life story, including his troubles with the Transvaal Department of Education, which refused to recognise him as a qualified teacher despite him holding a degree is interwoven with how he turned to journalism, rising through the ranks of Drum magazine to become an Assistant Editor, but without with any financial reward. These frustrations are shared from his abode, the House of Truth, a single-room bachelor flat in Sophiatown in the 1950’s.

‘The play is seen as hope to bridge the [racial] divide’ – SABC News

JHB Theatre
Sello Maake kaNcube in The House of Truth PHOTOS CuePix/Jeffrey Stretton-Bell

The House of Truth is riveting, absolutely brilliant.’– Nathi Mthethwa, Minister of Arts and Culture

The House of Truth was Themba’s way of cocking a snook at snobbery, officialdom and anything that smacked of bureaucracy. He hosted candid debates where anyone irrespective of race or social class was welcomed to participate in intellectual engagement. Acted by one of South Africa’s most accomplished and internationally revered actors, Sello Maake Ka-Ncube, who will be performing for the first time at Soweto Theatre and directed by Vanessa Cooke, a theatre legend in her own right. Themba would have turned 93 in 2017 but died at the tender age of 43. He passed away on 8 September 1967, and this year marks the 50th anniversary of his passing. Themba is one of the most illustrious alumni of the centenary old Fort Hare University. Other illustrious alumni of Fort Hare University are Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Govan Mbeki and at least three African Heads of State: Seretse Khama (Botswana), Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe) and Yusuf Lule (Uganda). The House of Truth celebrates South African artistic excellence. It will inspire Sowetans, young and old alike,’ says Makhaola Ndebele, Joburg City Theatres Artistic Manager

‘This is work which stretches across the epochs. There are many moments where you swear Themba is talking about now, not then.’ – Journalist Mike Louw

JHB Theatre
Sello Maake kaNcube in The House of Truth PHOTOS CuePix/Jeffrey Stretton-Bell

‘The play examines themes such as media ownership, exploitation and editorial independence’ (Sam Mathe, Jazz Life)

Showtimes: Tuesday to Saturday: 20:00 | Sunday: 15:00 | Mondays: no shows

Venue: Blue Theatre

Ticket Prices:  From only R120! Block booking discounts are available. Book at or call 011 930 7461/2/3

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