Using the arts to fight crime

Victor Mecoamere

Victor Mecoamere

North West continues to boost youth development with the yearly Stop Crime Drama Festival which will take place at the Mmabana Cultural Centre in Mmabatho, Mafikeng, in March.

This festival, which is in its 12th year, is led by Dramatists Against Crime's Martin Koboekae and Julian Seleke Mokoto and is staged in cooperation with the Absa Foundation, National Arts Council and Sowetan.

Festival drivers in the provincial arts and culture department include administrators and thespians Matlala Setshedi and Douglas Tsimane.

Performances will take place over four days from March 26. A community anti-crime march, led by North West's South African Police Services Brass Band, will take place on March 28.

Using the arts to warn against the futility of crime, the festival encourages the youth to work with with community development organisations, community policing forums, business organisations and the community safety and security authorities to promote crime-free communities.

Giving creative space for young people helps them find themselves and understand their place in the community.

It also gives them a chance to explore various social challenges and suggest solutions through the arts as awareness, education and training tool.

They are encouraged to write, direct, perform and act as stage managers, lighting technicians and play other key roles in stage productions with a strong anti-crime theme, incorporating drama, music, dance, poetry and the fine arts. Auditions will take place at the:

lJouberton Community Hall in Jouberton on January 22;

lMmabana Cultural Centre in Taung on January 23;

lMmabana Cultural Centre in Mmabatho on January 24; and

lMmabana Cultural Centre in Tlhabane, Rustenburg, on January 25.

These will be succeeded by workshops led by established actors. The workshops allow young to people make a creative input into the form, structure and content of the performance, with the established entertainers acting as guides.

Artists who led workshops last year included Kere Nyawo, Xoli Norman, Tina Mnumzana, Monde Mayephu, Phumlani Didi, Dieketseng Mnisi, Mzokes Thwane and Ntshieng Mokgoro.

lCall Martin Koboekae on 082-965-6256 or e-mail for more information. Read other nation-building campaign articles on