Slaghuis II; Performing the artist statement.
Slaghuis II, the exhibition, features a statement from Thembinkosi Hlatshwayo, which narrates a scene, perhaps a dream–possibly a nightmare–that occurs before his eyes. Hlatshwayo shared the text with Market Theatre Laboratory alumni, Chris Djuma who adapted the text and performed it at the first Slaguis II public walkabout on the 14th of March 2020.
Biography of Chris Djuma
Chris Djuma is an actor, writer, director and theatre maker who happens to be a third culture kid, blessed with a gift to tell story in many forms. He aligns himself in the belief that dreaming is not enough you have to do.
In 2008 he had his first play that he wrote as a high school student, Bang! Bang! Published in an anthology of plays and poems that are used to teach students.
In 2018, he took a leap and left the corporate world to continue his exploration in the world of theatre at the Market Theatre Laboratory, where he underwent 2 years full time training to to actively grow and craft, his writing, acting and directing skills, in the process he was directed by Andrew Buckland, Mahlatsi Mokganyane, Nicola Pilkington and Maude Sandham. Under the direction of Mwenya Kabwe, he played a lead in the SA theatre-making first, the cross border Babylon Beyond Borders, which united 3 international theatres who all performed simultaneously and were projected via live stream in London, Johannesburg, New York and Sao Paolo.
As a second year student, he directed the Market Theatre Laboratory 2nd year ensemble alongside Dintshitile Mashile in Le Journal, a play which tackled media censorship, social justice and propaganda at the 2019 National Arts Festival in Makhanda which won the Best Writer and Best Actors on the Student Fringe.
In January 2020 he made his professional stage debut playing the role of Jefferson in William Harding’s, The Kings of the World also directed by Harding who was under the mentorship of Robert Whitehead. He also was privileged to be part of a trio of theatre makers who got to work with Standard Bank Young Artist of the year for 2020 Jefferson Tshabalala, in the creation of a satirical comedy sketch show called the Mzansi Awards which highlighted the good, the bad and funny of 2019, which Chris contributed to as a writer and director.
As a theatre maker Chris’ is currently obsessed with dystopian worlds and hopes to make works that reflect our times and possibly articulate our inner struggles. Among his many projects in development he is currently still in the process of creating a new piece of work under the mentorship of Mwenya Kabwe which tackles identity and language in a globalized world and society, where it is becoming harder to answer the simple question” where are you from?” in this high immigration climate, where everyone is claiming home, but home may not be claiming you, which he hopes to stage in 2020.