Play: Stage production breaks down segregation and shows living with disabilities is a Human Rights issue

2011-04-04 00:00

IN the Blood, an inspiring, educational and motivational stage play performed by an 80-member cast of disabled people was held at Winston Churchill Theatre on Thursday and Friday.

This was the first leg of the provincial tour which will be staged in all parts of KwaZulu-Natal with the aim of raising awareness of the plight faced by people living with disabilities.

The stage production contains the message of hope for people living with disabilities and raises awareness about the HIV/Aids pandemic.

Ndileka Santi managing director and conceptualiser of the African Sinakho Arts, which produces the show, said they started out in 2006 with her friend Bukelwa Cakata.

“When we started we did not have the money. However we were not going to let anything come in the way of our dream to establish this project because we believed in it. We saw a gap in the arts fraternity for the physically challenged people,” said Santi.

She said they were motivated by work done by organisations for disabled persons which were repositioning disabled persons’ role as a human rights issue. “The emergence of these organisations in our country has given an opportunity for disabled persons to advance economically and otherwise under extremely trying circumstances, as well as provide service,” she said.

Santi said in the past disabled persons have been empowered in visual arts, but few had any opportunity to take centre stage in performing arts.

“Artists with disabilities are highly excluded from the mainstream society and experience difficulty in accessing their fundamental rights. This exclusion reinforces segregation and … makes disabled artists more vulnerable,” she added. Their aim is to eventually have an academy which will be found throughout the country dedicated towards people with disabilities who have a flair for performing arts.

Santi said In the Blood gives disabled artists a platform and promote job opportunities.

 

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