South Africa: Tshepang – the Third Testament – Raw Trauma That Evokes Our Tears


When the dreadfully unique South African play Tshepang was first staged back in 2003, I deliberately avoided it. I didn’t have the nerve to see a play about the most horrendous of crimes – baby rape. Why would you want to see such raw trauma acted out in front of you?

This bold drama by Lara Foot hasn’t gone away, because neither has the issue. At least 20,000 baby rapes are reported every year, plus those of toddlers, children and women. We’re living in a social cesspit, yet Foot has waded in and managed to create a play that is compelling and compassionate as well as brutally honest. It’s a work that wakes you with a start at 4am as your brain rehashes it.

Foot researched and wrote Tshepang: The Third Testament after the rape of baby Tshepang shocked the country and the world. It’s naturally a tough watch, but it’s an important and truly excellent work. It needs that excellence to survive, because otherwise it would be easy to ignore and forget about the play – just like we try to do with the issue itself.

So there we are, watching the clearly traumatised Ruth (Nonceba Constance Didi) scrubbing…


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Publish date : 2018-10-22 09:39:23

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