We change young lives in urban townships with The Culture Gangs.
The Culture Gangs program is a support programme for existent drama groups in Cape Town. There are hundreds of school-going and unemployed youth in the townships who are drawn to the theatre as a way of expressing and dealing with the harsh realities of their lives. The Culture Gangs program exposes these young people to notions of creative thinking and play that will serve them in all aspects of their lives. It creates gangs of youth who are committed to culture and not to crime.
Magnet Theatre works with drama groups and school going learners running monthly skills workshops, theatre visits, holiday programmes, providing career guidance and assistance with identifying and applying for further education opportunities and ends the year with a community showcase at Magnet Theatre attended by family, community members and theatre practitioners
In 2016 the Culture Gangs Project was facilitated by Maggie Fernando and Yonela Sithela and was operational in Khayelitsha, Delft, Philippi,Langa, Overcome Heights, Vrygrond, Retreat and Mannenberg where they worked with 224 youth.
In 2017, the plan is to identify 4 sites and to focus the development of a youth drama group in each site: Chris Hani High School, Khayelitsha; Ithemba Labantu, Philiphi; Lesedi Youth Group, Vrygrond and Project Playground in Langa. Mandla Mbothwe will work with facilitators Zukisane Nongogo and Yonela Sithela in developing new work with these groups, taking them to the theatre and running appropriate skills workshops.