Frontiéres: A Theatre Production Featuring A Collection Of Personal Testimonies By African Refugees Living In South Africa

Frontiéres is a collection of personal testimonies by refugees living in South Africa.
It officially opened on World Refugee Day at the Market Theatre in Johannesburg, South Africa, and is set to run until 7 July.

June 20th is commemorated annually and internationally as World Refugee Day; dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world.

The verbatim theatre piece is written and mentored by visionary theatre veteran Bobby Rodwell, who has a long list of productions under her belt and directed by first-time theatre director Mmabatho Montsho,  who is also a revered actress and film director.

The production is supported by a grant from the Department of Arts & Culture’s Incubator Fund which supports a series of programmes designed to boost the level of fresh young talent in the theatre industry and see more local content brought to the stage.


Based on personal testimonies of people from other parts of Africa who have come to South Africa, Frontières paints a picture of why people leave their countries. What impact does this have on their lives? On young people across the continent? How are they received in South Africa?

The production interrogates the ‘authenticity of voice’, as actors re-tell the personal testimonies collected and told to the writer by migrants from Zimbabwe, the DRC, Cameroon and Somalia …

Frontières is essentially a Pan African perspective on migration and coloniality giving intimate voice to people as individuals, far removed from the images of hundreds of thousands of people, walking, on sea, crossing rivers – the faceless and nameless.

Migrating to neighbouring countries happens because of a search for better economic opportunities, peace and security. African economies have recently shown a growth but that has not filtered down to the youth population which leads to high numbers of youth migrants. Frontières looks at how people respond to migration within the continent. Frontières speaks to the borders, both physical and metaphorical that divide our continent.

Art plays a vital role in tackling social issues hence great initiatives such as Frontières never go out of fashion, we need them.  I'm glad it is supported by the Department of Arts & Culture.

May we always be reminded of our common humanity. A little compassion, empathy and kindness go a long way. And to the powers that be, what is it that you're doing to change the state of refugees? We need answers - in the form of actions that is.

Source: Market Theatre

Photo Credit: Mmabatho Montsho | Twitter
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