The Community Groups Intervention was an educational outreach project that operated in Khayelitsha from 2002 – 2008. The project mentored already existing drama groups from that community, with the following objectives:
To develop performance skills and playmaking in a range of theatrical styles in order to improve and develop product
To develop leadership and management skills and to work towards group sustainability
To assist in making the groups more visible
To increase access to information for the groups
To attempt to counsel and direct individual group members to further education opportunities
To work towards the establishment of a Youth Theatre Centre in Khayelitsha by 2008
To meet these objectives Magnet Theatre ran the following activities:
Workshops in theatre making, management skills, leadership etc
Organized theatre visits to current productions in Cape Town
Participation in other performance projects
Facilitation visits by skilled facilitators to assist in the groups’ own projects
Active support of the formation of the Khayelitsha Theatre Forum – an organization with lobbying potential in the community
The project culminated annually in a performance day in November and a discussion with the community in Khayelitsha.
The Intervention was run by Mandla Mbothwe, Mluleki Sam (an active member of Manyanani and employed by Magnet as a fieldworker), and Jennie Reznek.
Some of the groups who participated in the Intervention over the the 6 years were: Ikwezi Theatre Group , Masibambisane Youth Educational Organisation, Manyanani, Iqhude, Siyanqoba, Imbawula,
Iselwa, Emlanjeni, Ikasi, Khaya, Imbewu, Yomelela Primary School and Mathew Goniwe Drama Group
Over the six year duration of this project, several young people from the drama groups that were part of the mentorship programme were accepted into the drama department of the University of Cape Town. They were Zanele Siko, Abongile Kroza and Nolovuyo Sam (from 2008) and, Mandisi Sindo, Sprit Mba, Indalo Stofile, Anele Pendze, Zwelakhe Khuse and Thembalihle Mananga,(from 2009) All nine of these young people are first time university students in their families. Their education at the University will open doors for them they never dreamed possible before Magnet visited them in the townships. The lives of their families and the community drama groups to which they still belong will also be positively affected. They will become leaders in their communities by offering images of inspiration and possibilities to others.