M.U.K.A. - Project (Johannesburg, Southafrica)

1994 - the end of apartheid - was a time of upheaval for the people of South Africa. Many young people moved from the townships to the centres of the cities, where they often found themselves on the streets. This is when M.U.K.A.-Project started in 1995. In a "shelter" of the Evangelical Peace Church Johannesburg, young people who originally came from Soweto met and began to develop plays together. They called themselves "Most United Knowledgeable Artists" - M.U.K.A. for short - and integrated their experiences as street children into their productions. For their performances they made streets, community centres and churches their stage. The Johannesburg theatre initiative has received many awards and has now been in Europe eight times invited by the KinderKulturKarawane.

Artistic work and social commitment are closely linked at M.U.K.A. Project. The project helps to make the Hillbrow district worth living in and is involved in many schools, including the "Adopt-a-school" programme.


In this music theatre production M.U.K.A.-Project once again talks about of the everyday experiences of young people in Hillbrow. The play is based on the abuse of a nine-month-old baby (Tshepang) in 2001, when Tshepang was abused by his mother's 23-year-old ex-boyfriend (David Potse).

To this day, this scourge of women and child abuse continues to spread and is an everyday threat for young people in Hillbrow. That is why the judge says in the end of the play: "Therefore, on behalf of all the good and caring men out there, I say to our children, mothers, sisters, aunts and grandmothers, I sincerely regret all the violence they are subjected to every day".

But despite all the drama of the issue, the play lives from the power of the actors and the interwoven dances and songs of the group.