A World First – Zwakala Africa 2015


Zwakala kids picZwakala! Let the Deaf be heard!

On 23 February 2015 a world first will take place in Johannesburg. On this day the SABC, Dtv, The Department of Arts and Culture and the City of Johannesburg welcome the Deaf youth of 11 African Countries to celebrate the expressive beauty of Sign Language at the 8th Zwakala festival.

On Friday, 27 February 2015, the Gala event will take place at the John Kani theatre in Newtown where the winners in four performing arts categories will be chosen.

The celebrity judge, Kgomotso Christopher, and three deaf judges together with the Patron Minister Lindiwe Sisulu, the Executive Mayor of Johannesburg, ambassadors and various dignitaries, will be entertained by the 88 finalists from Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Seychelles, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Zwakala (Be heard) was born from an idea BY the Deaf FOR the Deaf. The Deaf felt excluded from mainstream competitions in the performing arts. Dtv took the challenge to remedy this in 2006. The team secured the blessing and patronage of the late MaSisulu and the first competition centered on a birthday card for Madiba. The winning school from Worcester met him and at this event he told them “Brave people never allow themselves to be influenced by the fact that they have disabilities …”

Following the huge success of the first Zwakala, hard work and unsurpassed positive response has grown Zwakala to be a strong, sustainable brand supported by the SABC, the Department of Arts and Culture, Deafsa, Departments of Education and Pansalb and the deaf community.

Dtv’s national performing arts competition for Deaf learners, reaches all the schools of the deaf in SA. It provides a platform where Deaf youth can express their feelings, their fears, and their hopes through the performing arts.

Tune into Dtv at 12:00 on Saturdays only on SABC3