YEDA (umntana)
Dance & Physical Theatre / PJ'S

YEDA (umntana) traces back in time. This is a real-life performance of Thembani's family lineages and the becoming that has haunted him. The production prompts physical language and symbolic objects attributed to a journey of becoming and identity. God (in prayer) and an ancestral clan(s) are unpacked, however uncertain and still questioning 'WHY NOW?', and become like a paintbrush, all that has led to this becoming. 

Production Credits


Thembani Buka

Sange Mpambani

Mihlali Sipho-esihle Mbalentle Mpotulo

Stassia Zukhanye Nyeka

Zanethemba Mdyogolo

About the Artists

Behind the choreography and directing of YEDA (umntana) is Thembani Buka, born and bred in Makhanda. In 2005, he started as an African enthusiast dancer in his area – Sakhuluntu Cultural Group. He later (2008) joined the Amaphiko Township Dance Project – where he was trained as a modern dancer under AIDT (Association of International Dance Teachers) examinations. In 2013, he won an award for BEST SENIOR DANCER. During his time at Amphiko Township Dance Project, he was recognised by many artists including the First Physical Theatre at Rhodes University, and has performed in various events during the National Arts Festival (NAF) such as ‘The Language We Cry In’ by Sifiso Skhakhane (2011) and GLASS by Hermien Potgieter (2014) while at Nombulelo High School in Makhanda.

In 2016 he was accepted into a training programme at VUYANI DANCE COMPANY, one of the best dance companies on the continent in Johannesburg. He was exposed to many other dance forms and highlighted the impeccable role that Gregory Vuyani Maqoma (Artistic Director of Vuyani Dance Company) played in his journey to being an artist/creative in general.

On returning to Makhanda, he joined the Makhanda KWANTU choir where he collaborated on productions/projects as a choreographer and a creative director. His love for creation grew more profoundly when he joined the Department of African Languages at Rhodes University (2022) as an honors student, and hence why he started his first production, ‘I.N.C.O.K.O’, which explores the different events (especially in taxis – the language in society; disconnections and reflections) in Makhanda – the conversations. It was featured in the Fringe NAF program in 2022 and 2023.  The production earned a Standard Bank Ovation Award in 2022 and later received a BRONZE award. Thembani is fascinated by human language(s) and uses different body language conversations to create his work. 

He is currently a teacher (isiXhosa and Creative Arts) at Victory Primary School in Makhanda and embarking on a research journey as a translator of isiXhosa and/or Author. 


  • Venue: PJ'S
  • Location: Hoerskool P.J. Olivier
  • Ticket price: ZAR 50.00
  • Programme type: The Fringe
  • Genre: Dance & Physical Theatre
  • Duration: 40 min
    • Academic or Professional Content
    • Adult Themes
June 25, 2024 10:00 - 10:40
June 26, 2024 20:00 - 20:40
June 27, 2024 14:00 - 14:40
June 28, 2024 20:30 - 21:10