Zuko Wonderfull Sikhafungana


Fellow: Early Career Doctoral Fellow

Zuko Wonderfull Sikhafungana born in Matatiele, Eastern Cape is a PhD Anthropology student at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), a fellow at the Centre for Humanities Research (CHR) and artist in residence at the Factory of the Arts. He has also studied in the Netherlands in Leiden University as an exchange student. Zuko is a theatre maker, playwright, director, filmmaker, cofounder and artistic director of Back Stage Theatre Production (BSTP) a theatre company which is based in Strand, Lwandle township. His research field of interest lies within the margins of ‘community’ and mainstream theatre.

His MA dissertation focused on ways in which black theatre artists from marginalised disadvantaged communities with and without formal training negotiate themselves within theatre spaces in Cape Town. Attempting to demonstrate how works of arts that awkwardly sits with labels such as “community” or “mainstream” theatre are emerging more and more in the Cape Town theatre scene. Through outreach initiatives in the city—the Zabalaza Theatre Festival, the Magnet Theatre Culture Gangs, the Full Time Training and the Job Creation Programme—that are offering opportunities to artists that are excluded from the mainstream theatre industry, providing channels and platforms that bring community theatre outside of the township space. Highlighting how community theatre artists are reclaiming and redefining what it means to practice theatre today inside and outside the townships.

His intention is extending his work to a national scale, attempting to assess the state of contemporary post-apartheid theatre in South Africa.

Related News


The Crime Scene

The CHR is delighted is announce CHR doctoral fellow, Zuko Wonderfull Sikhafungana, will be staging his production The Crime Scene at the National Arts Festival this year.

CHR Doctoral and Masters Fellows Graduate

We wish them every success as they pursue their advanced postgraduate and postdoctoral studies as CHR fellows

The Crime Scene

Written and directed by CHR fellow Zuko Sikhafungana, The Crime Scene is on at Theatre Arts Admin Collective in early November.

CHR fellow invited to judge at Thola Drama Festival

This past month the CHR’s MA Fellow, Zuko Wonderfull Sikhafungana was invited to be a judge at the Third Annual Thola Drama Festival at the Lwandle Community Hall in Strand.

The CHR fellowship programme will continue in 2022 through online platforms and, where permitted, limited live events hosted in compliance with COVID-19 protocols. Please follow our events page for updates about events.

For queries, please email us at

centreforhumanitiesresearch@uwc.ac.za

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