2017 / 2018


Kwathi ke Kaloku (Once Upon a Time) is a children’s stage production celebrating traditional Xhosa storytelling with indigenous music created by award-winning author and storyteller, Sindiwe Magona, and acclaimed traditional South African musician, Bongani Sotshononda and his United Nations of Africa band. Magona, along with two actors, performs a combination of two of her most popular stories, “The Best Meal Ever” and “Stronger than a Lion” to the live soundtrack of Sotshononda’ s beautiful, indigenous music. It is directed by Thokozile Sayedwa and Mandla Mbothwe.

The production combines storytelling, physical theatre, music and song and its purpose is to create healthy, free entertainment for children aged 6-13 years from underserved communities, who do not enjoy an abundance of educational programmes or creative resources presented in their mother tongue. 

Kwathi ke Kaloku entertains and educates through the power of imagination and in turn preserves and documents the rich Xhosa tradition of storytelling, as well as the wealth of indigenous Xhosa songs.



September 2017

  • Masikhanye Hall, Gugulethu
  • Guga S’thebe, Langa
  • Zolani Centre, Nyanga (CPT Fringe Festival)
  • Zwelihle Primary School, Hermanus
    (Sparklekids Learnership Programme)

May 2018

  • Zonnebloem Schools Festival, Cape Town (in collaboration with the Otto Foundation)

(children, parents, teachers)

  • Gugulethu, Langa and Nyanga: 600
  • Hermanus: 250
  • Zonnebloem: 600


  • Director and assistant director
  • Producer
  • Production manager
  • Lead actor and 4 supporting actors
  • Musical director
  • 4 Musicians
  • Sound engineer
  • Costume and props designer
  • Publicist

It opened their
eyes to the magic of
theatre, storytelling
& cultural expression.”

“Just as no child in the world should ever be denied the citizenship of the country of her birth, no child should ever be denied or deprived of the privilege of their mother tongue.”
Dr Sindiwe Magona
Award-winning Author & Activist

“The children were enthralled by the colourful production with its inspiring storyline, strong cast of actors/musicians and affecting music. Many parents commented that it made such a positive impact on their children, as they had never before seen world-class children’s theatre in their mother tongue. It made the children and their families
feel valued, and opened their eyes to the magic
of theatre, storytelling and cultural expression.”
Karen Breytenbach
Project Director: Otto Foundation