Ngqwele Dube, Life Correspondent

The exploratory multimedia collaboration, ‘The Amavuso Project’ is set to go live at two festivals in South Africa next week.

The South Africa-Zimbabwe collaboration is set to show online at The Urban Festival scheduled for Sunday and on Monday at the Free State Arts Festival.

Amavuso, an all-female cast piece, uses performance and digital media to present authentic and diverse perspectives on the ‘blesser’ (aka sugar daddy) phenomenon as an increasingly accepted popular culture, drawing content from real stories, conversations, opinions and responses to this topic, gathered through a workshop process and from online sources.

It profiles uncomfortable truths around urban safety, women empowerment, gendered power dynamics and the pervasiveness and impact of social media, offering audiences a sense of the interactions between ‘blessers’ and ‘blessees’.

The project, conceptualised, written and directed by multi-faceted South African arts practitioner, Zimkitha Kumbaca, is a collaboration between Johannesburg-based Sibikwa Arts Centre (, South Africa) and Nhimbe Trust (Bulawayo).

“It’s a story about women, by women”, said Zimkitha. “The Amavuso Project is one of a kind, driven strongly by women artists who rehearsed tirelessly under lockdown via Zoom and Whatsapp, across the mighty Limpopo River, our shared border. The women behind the scenes also came together to tell this story truthfully and artistically.”

The cast comprises strong young artists from the two countries – South African actresses Dineo Komane, Eutychia Rakaki and emerging Angel Mlalazi while from Zimbabwe there is Charmaine Mudau and Agnes Ncube.

According to a press release the cast are credited for their valuable contributions in the workshopping and devising process.

At the Urban Festival, Amavuso will be made available on YouTube from 5.15pm, and a follow up question and answer with the Kumbaca being hosted by Phyllis Klotz, Sibikwa founder while on Monday the film will be streamed at the Free State Arts Festival at 6pm.