Hamburg, Eastern Cape – Today marks my first week of being in the Eastern Cape with the Clowns Without Borders South Africa. While they have a 3 week journey behind them including rehearsals and acquainting themselves with the community, I come as an intern not quite sure what to expect. Stepping off the bus in Eastern London, I am battered and bruised from a 10 hour long drive and the team working on the Lithe’tha Project in Hamburg, Eastern Cape patiently await me with posters. I am glad to be picked up but also to be welcomed so warmly, hugs and smiles.
The first week of our performance began with a bang!!! Although we did our ‘test show’ on Friday, we were still a bit nervous about how the children would respond to the show. Monday morning @7:30 the clowns were on the road. At the first school, they found the principal and the staff were so welcoming.
During this residency at the Moya Centre in Mahlanya, Swaziland, we had to reduce CWBSA’s Injabulo Family Programme from 10 to 5 days and create a module to be part of a yearlong parenting programme. The participants were 30 parents selected by the local community chief to be part of this programme, and hence were committed and influential members of their community (e.g. rural health workers, care givers, pastors). Their need was ways to connect with their children, and so this is where CWBSA came in!
The first week of project Lithe'tha was an amazing journey through creating a new show. Hamburg is a very interesting place, not at all what I expected. On our arrival we met by Merran from Keiskamma Trust (our community partner, www.keiskamma.org) and on Monday we met with Unathi who is the PR person and two community artists, Mbulelo and Xolani.
Richard Antrobus representing Clowns Without Borders South Africa is currently involved in an exciting project to take a road show through Botswana, Namibia and Angola which aims to educate rural communities around issues pertaining to conservation, agriculture, livelihood, sanitation, and HIV/Aids.
Truck drives out to do shows around remote areas of Matatiele...1 minute later…
Alice: Sibu, I forgot to bring a banana for the show.
Sibu: Oh no, me too!
Truck halts. Turns around….
That’s what you get when you’re working with clowns.