Art spaces are where people find healing. The South African art world is in rather dark times, but if giving your mind to music, painting, theatre, and literature, you may get to feel optimistic that young South Africa can conquer the dark cloud that hangs over them. Many young thespians in South Africa migrate to other countries in the hoping for better economic opportunities as full-time artists since that is not the case in our beloved South Africa.
Kitso Seti (28) hailing from Khayelitsha, Western Cape, is a Teacher’s Assistant, he studied Political Sciences at the University of Cape Town (UCT). “I studied because politics is interesting, it is part of our daily lives. Looking at my younger self when I started my studies I saw myself being an ambassador of some sort, whether in South Africa or another African country. I recall in the studies we were introduced to, first was the Rwanda genocides conflicts, it caught my attention and I was looking forward to see how these conflicts still happen today and how many lessons I could learn from it,” stated Seti.
“While studying, I stumbled upon the black consciousness movement’s notes and the Pan Africanism lectures, I intend to write around that as my way to impact the arts, raising questions such as ‘What Does It Mean To Be Black?’ in the now generation finding ways to navigate a meaning whilst referring to the past to enlighten the path I’m creating. One of my many inspirations is ‘Being Black In The World’ by Chabani Manganyi, it inspires me to continually seek greater ideas to address our blackness to the world, how I see my blackness affecting my black people and the arts” added Seti.
“I started performing arts for theatre in 2014 at the varsity residency for ‘Res Festival’ It was students of each residency competing against each other. It was my introduction to stage acting, from then everything came flowing. As the years went by I immersed myself with productions such as ‘No Swearing In Heaven’, ‘SHIT’, I then wrote a play titled ‘Imbawula’ directed by Lwanda Sindaphi. I have had the honour to play in the Baxter Theatre and my play ‘Four Fathers – bananas for the baboons’ which is the most recent work I directed and wrote also featured in the Baxter Theatre. I have done readings for Dipalo at the Arts Festival Standing Ovation as a radio play,” further added Seti.
“I would [like] to advice young artists to get some form of training whether it is enrolling in a university or attending workshops, joining community groups or development institutions that aim to help young growing artists. Thespians need to teach themselves to seek for professional development to keep one updated with the activities of the industry, it is important that people do so… we all need people to help us grow our ideas, expand the imagery we have and be able to tell a well-articulated and fully structured idea,” concluded Seti highlighting common struggles for artists.
In 2023 Seti plans to grow the play ‘Four Fathers-bananas for the baboons’, and tour around South Africa with it.
This article is an opinion piece submitted on 27 December 2022. The views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect those of Karibu! Online or Khanya College. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.