Theatre / Rehearsal Room

Leina is a production that transcends boundaries and resonates with audiences, having received standing ovations in both Gauteng and the Free State. The production began with a vision to create a theatrical experience that would not only entertain but also provoke thought and emotion. The story, brought to life through exceptional writing and masterful direction, explores complex themes that strike a chord with people from all walks of life.


Director and writer, Mxolisi 'The Great' Masilela has this to say, 'Leina is truly a labour of love and spirituality. The concept for this play came to me shortly before the passing of my beloved mother. It was a challenging but incredibly rewarding experience to craft this meaningful work. I gave myself the time to delve deep into the significance of our names, our clan names, and how they connect us to our being and our spirituality. The contribution of the cast was impactful to this play. The performance today was beyond my expectations. The execution of the text, the spiritual depth, and the incredible sound and music added a layer of brilliance to the play that was nominated 4 times for the 2024 Naledi theatre awards.


I am immensely grateful to the talented team of artists who brought this vision to life, "Leina" is not just about names; it's about the profound spirituality they carry, the legacy they represent, and the rituals, prayers, and music that connect us to our ancestors. The belief in the reincarnation of old souls through names is a theme that runs deep, reminding us of the timeless connection between generations.'


Production Credits

Mxolisi Masilela The Great: Writer & Director

Precious Mashishi: Production Manager

Sizwe Ndabane: Lightin design



Tswarelo "Ntate" Selolo

Gifter Ngobeni

Mongezi Mabunda



Amanda Khumalo

Sibahle Zongezile

Nkosana Maphanga

Kelebogile Nkwana

Muzi Shili 
Nonhlahla Dube 


Sizwe Ndabana (Lighting and sound designer)

About the Artists

Mxolisi Masilela The Great, (Writer & Director)

Mxolisi Masilela is a distinguished theatre maker, celebrated for his diverse roles as an actor, director, playwright, and producer. He is the visionary founder, artistic director, and CEO of Live (T) and Recorded (x) Theatre Productions and co-owner of the esteemed TX Theatre in Tembisa. 


A graduate of Windy Brow Theatre's performing arts centre, Mxolisi enhanced his skills at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts in Australia through a 12-week exchange program on Ritual as Performance. He co-founded The Kuwamba National Women’s Theatre Festival and Tembisa Theatre Week, where he serves as artistic director. His directorial achievements include the 4-time Naledi nominated "LEINA," "Queen the Chosen Ones," "The Asylum," and "These Are Not My Shoes," which were performed at prominent venues like TX Theatre, Joburg Theatre, and the Fiti International Theatre Festival in Mozambique. His work on "Six Characters in Search of an Author" at the Market Theatre also earned a Naledi nomination. In 2018, "Medumo ya Borwa" won the Standard Bank Gold Ovation Award at the National Arts Festival, and "Walls and Pillows" received widespread acclaim and the Standard Bank Standing Ovation Award.


Mxolisi has penned numerous plays, including "The Contour," "Mabu," "White Walls," "Exhibition," "Uncharted," and "Medumo ya Barwa." His commitment to nurturing talent is evident through his mentorship of numerous theatre creatives, including 8 South African MA graduates and 4 self-taught artists.


As an actor, Mxolisi is known for his lead role in Mzansi Magic’s "Stash" and various stage performances. His international recognition includes a theatre-making residency at the University of Michigan, participation in global theatre exchanges, and public lectures on theatre and art entrepreneurship. He served on the adjudication panel for the 2019 National Arts Festival, solidifying his influence in the theatre community. Mxolisi’s work extends globally, with projects in America, Australia, and Amsterdam. He is also part of a US-based theatre collective, underscoring his international impact. His contributions to theatre have made him a revered figure in South Africa’s cultural landscape and beyond.


Mongezi Mabunda, (Actor)

Mongezi Mabunda a 36 year old, Tembisa based performer, started in the performing arts in 2007 with Rutanang Community Theatre Projects under the mentorship of Johannes Lucky Khafela. He took part in many productions under the above mentioned organisation, namely the Mzansi Fela Festival hosted by The South African State Theatre and performed at the 2013 National Arts Festival in Grahamstown with “Abadala First” directed by Mxolisi Masilela and at the 2014 "Zabalaza Theatre Festival" held in Cape Town at the prestigious Baxter Theatre with a production titled "Thula Thula" directed by Mxolisi Masilela. From November 2009 to July 2010 he joined Tswelopele Performing Artists and learnt and excelled in a traditional SeTswana dance and music production titled “First people of kalahari” under Artistic director Oupa Malatjie, with which won a number of awards specialising in Traditional Dance and music. In January 2011 he joined and is remains part of TX Theatre Productions as a performer and Deputy Chairperson, and is the co-founder and Project Manager of the Kuwamba Women’s Theatre Festival. Under TX Theatre Productions he performed a supporting lead role in the Naledi Award nominated production "Queen: The Chosen Ones", also Directed by Mxolisi Masilela, and facilitated by Soweto Theatre's artistic director, Miss Warona Seane, and was cast in a lead role in “Insanity”, written and directed by Mxolisi Masilela, and “Flames from a Spoja”, written by Motshabi “Vice” Monageng and directed by Collen Magongwa. He won the Best Music Director at the 2014 Zabalaza Festival in Cape Town for his work on the aforementioned production “Thula Thula.” Mongezi has starred in a lead role of a production titled Exhibition, written and directed by Mxolisi Masilela. 

In 2018 was a lead in “The Quest for Intimacy”, directed by Mxolisi Masilela, and in 2020 was cast for a lead role in “The Contour”. This production also took part in the FITI International Festival in Maputo, Mozambique in 2022.

In 2023 he landed a supporting lead role in “Leina”, written and directed by Mxolisi Masilela, which also received 4 nominations at the 2024 Naledi Theatre Awards.

In 2015 he took an interest in producing, and together with TX Theatre Productions produced “Two sides of the same Coin,” Uhambo” and Flames from a Spoja” by Themba Mahlangu, Mcebisi Bhayi and Gifter Ngobeni, and Mxolisi Masilela respectively.



Best Production “Umabatha” written by Welcome Msomi and directed by Bongani Dube (Mzansi Fela Festival – State Theatre.)

Best production "Thula Thula" (Stop Crime Arts festival)

Best Traditional Dance "1st people of Kalahari" (Chris Hani Arts festival.)

2nd Place "Queen: The Chosen Ones" (Zwakala Theatre Festival - Market Lab)

Best Production "Queen: The Chosen Ones" (Ekurhuleni Heritage Festival.)

Top 20 in 2012, 2013 & 2014 for the Ishashalazi Theatre Festival (Queen: The Chosen Ones, Abadala First, Insanity and Flames from a Spoja respectively.)

2013 Naledi Theatre Award Nomination (Queen: The Chosen Ones)

Best Visiting Production "Thula Thula" (2014 Zabalaza Theatre Festival.)

Best Musical Director for "Thula Thula" (2014 Zabalaza Theatre Festival.)

2023 Naledi Theatre Awards winner for Innovation in Theatre with the TX Theatre. 

2024 4 Naledi Theatre Awards nominations with “Leina” 

Best Production for “Thula Thula” (2014 Zwakala Festival.)

Season with a social activism production titled “We Are Here” created by Antonio Lyons and Produced by The Soweto Theatre.

Co-founded the Kuwamba Women’s Theatre Festival

With TX Theatre Productions, built a make shift theatre (The TX Theatre) in the Moses Molelekwa Art Centre and took on a role as Producer and Project Manager. 

With the TX Theatre won the CEO’s award for Innovation at The 2022 Naledi Theatre Awards.


Kgwadi Philimone Selolo, (Actor)

Kgwadi Philimone Selolo is a 21 year old, born and raised in Tembisa. Kgwadi has been part of the art industry for over 10 years and is a dynamic and multifaceted talent with a passion for both acting and directing. This has seen him featured as an actor and dancer in more than 30 community theatre plays and dance pieces from different community groups including Sello sa Tlou theatre group, Umzekelo cultural organisation, Marapo A Naga and The TX Theatre. Kgwadi has won multiple theatre awards for best lead actor (Hillbrow Outreach School Festival, 2015), TX Theatre Festival (best supporting actor 2017), best runner up actor (Hillbrow Outreach School Festival 2016), as well as best cameo role (Hillbrow Outreach Festival 2017). Driven by his passion for the arts , Kgwadi is currently pursuing formal training in both acting and directing at the Tshwane University of Technology. A young man with dreams of becoming the greatest actor the world has ever seen, Kgwadi’s acting career has taken him to bigger stages including the Market Theatre, State Theatre, Tin Town Theatre, The TX Theatre, Gymnasium Ttheatre (NAF) and Bloemfontein (pacofs) .    

The following are some of his production highlights in the industry:

These Are Not My Shoes (by Mxolisi 'The Great' Masilela) received a Naledi nomination for best independent theatre production (2021)

STEVOVO THE PUPPETEER (by Moruti Abednego Dlhamini) received a Standard Bank Ovation Award at NAF.

LEINA (by Mxolisi 'the Great' Masilela) lead actor. The production has received four nominations from the Naledi Awards where Kgwadi secured a nomination for the best performance in a play for theatre plays staged in 2023.

Kgwadi’s acting skills and passion for the craft have seen him secure 2 roles in film and television, Abomkhulu on ShowMax (2022), supporting lead portraying the character of Mahooks, and 1st Year (2024) on Mzansi Magic, portraying the character of Sizwe.

As he continues his  journey in the industry of theatre, film and television, Kgwadi looks forward to exploring new opportunities for growth and artistic expression. Kgwadi is eager to further develop his skills as both an actor and a director, seeking out challenging roles and ambitious projects that push the boundaries of creativity and innovation.


Gifter Ngobeni 

Gifter Ngobeni obtained his Master’s Degree (Cum Laude) in Performance Art from Tshwane University of Technology in 2023. He has a strong background in community development theatre, wherein he was awarded over 50 accolades for various categories such as, Drama, Music, Poetry and Dance. He is an expert facilitator and dramaturge, and has imparted his expertise in well-known festivals around Gauteng. Mr Ngobeni is an internationally acclaimed performer, having performed in Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Brussels. Mr Ngobeni is not only a theatre performer, he has also been professionally featured in television works, including commercials and has also done radio drama. He is a stunt-man, who specialises in stage combat, clowning, stilts and jumper’s work. He is a festival curator, and has curated for the following festivals: Mothogola Arts Festival, Tembisa Theatre Week and Feast of the Clowns. Mr Ngobeni is the founder of 4Play Theatre Productions and is also an associate Artistic Director at the TX Theatre. 


In his years of practice and experience within the arts sphere, he discovered his niche and passion for teaching. Mr Ngobeni is a former Dramatic Arts and Creative Arts Teacher from Alexandra High School. He then moved to a private institution of higher learning, City Varsity, where he taught major practical and theoretical specialisation modules. Mr Ngobeni is currently a professional part-time lecturer at Tshwane University of Technology.


Amanda Khumalo, (Musician)

Amanda Khumalo is a talented actress and singer with a passion for education, the theater and film industry. She has showcased her talents in various productions, including "Mosadi Poo" where she portrayed the character Destiny. Amanda has also been a part of notable performances such as "Thula Thula" and "Poetry Cries Musical" at the State Theatre and recently the Naledi Nominated Musical production "Liena" In the world of film and TV. Additionally, Amanda's musical abilities have shone, through her involvement as the lead vocalist in the Taiwa Jazz Band and later launching her own Music Brand JustAmee entertainment in 2022, which produced the "All that Jazz with JustAmee" and "Celebrating Black Love ekasi with JustAmee and Friends" valentine's concert. Her skills extend beyond acting and singing, as she has also received training in script writing, directing, and acting for camera. Amanda's dedication and talent have earned her recognition, including two nominations at the TX 1st independent theater awards for Best Production and best supporting actress. With her diverse skillset and passion for the arts, Amanda continues to leave a lasting impression on audiences.

Amanda currently works as a Research Assistant at Drama for Life.


Nkosana Maphanga, (Musician)

Nkosana Maphanga is an astounding self-taught acoustic guitar player from Tembisa. He started his journey in music around 2009, when he participated in an acapella group called “Harmonic Voices Tembisa”, which made a mark in his High School adventures and reached the finals in the MaQ’apella - Music Concert at Soweto Theatre. 

He completed his schooling at Zitikeni Secondary School further developing his love for the instrumental arts. He plays with his current live band, “Tag Tributes”, which renders its services to all age groups at Moses Molelekwa Arts Center and Johannesburg stages. 

His theatre journey took him outside of Gauteng, and he has travelled to the National Arts Festival in Makhanda with a Fringe play, “Stevovo the Puppeteer” by Abednego Dlamini which got a Standard Bank Ovation Award (2023), and to the Bloemfontein Camagu Theatre & Dance Festival to perform “Leina”- a tale of reincarnation by Mxolixi the Great Masilela.

He is currently developing a “Guitar Academy” plus Guitar Repairs in Tembisa to make musical instruments accessible in the community and local Schools. In the near future he is looking to take “Sana Beatbox Guitar ©” onto digital platforms to reach audiences around the globe.


Sibahle Zongezile, (Musician)

Sibahle Zongezile is a multidisciplinary artist, a stage manager, and was a communication intern at the TX Theatre. She later assumed the position of tech manager, liaising between the company and staging productions. She is also a composer. She acted, danced, and was a vocalist/composer in "Amajuba" and "The Curse" in 2021 and 2022 as part of the Mzantsi Fela Festival for development at The State Theatre. In late 2022, she performed in "Mallepa" as a vocalist and core composer alongside the ensemble under the leadership of Mongezi Mabunga, in "Broken Heart," and "Missing Piece." In 2023, she acted and was a vocalist in "Adam’s Ale," "Ikhaya Liseziko," and "Winnie Mandela: The Black Light" during Tembisa Theatre Week. She composed for "Memories" and wrote "Time" for Peu Arts Productions for the THINK TANK, Notes for the PopArt 12/12. She was also a composer for "Leina" with Nhlanhla Mahlangu and the group. Additionally, she stage-managed "Exhibition," "Uncharted," and "Langa Libalele."


Nonhlahla Dube: (Musical Director and Musician)

From the large Ekhuruleni township, Tembisa, emerged this unique sensation. A talented of actress, musician, conceptualiser and aspiring director, Nonhlanhla Dube is on a very rewarding journey. Nhlanhla began her primary school education at Ipontshe Primary and which was followed by Jiyana Secondary School where she also delved into the study of the Dramatic Arts.

Following her participation in a community project called Happy Hearts, her career gained ground eventually allowed her to pursue her dream of being on stage like role model Mama Busi Mhlongo. Under the attentive guidance of Clara Khumalo, founder of Thutuka Youth, Dube joined her training school in 2008.

Ubiziwe was her first production feature with Clara Khumalo, and was part of Soweto Arts Festival. Nonhlanhla was celebrated as the Best Actress from that production. She starred in another Clara Khumalo production, June 16, and was again awarded Best Actress and Best Vocalist.

Her acting skills gradually blossomed, handing her endless opportunities under the Gifter Ngobeni organisation. Ribasadi Under Construction Company by Gifter Ngobeni later associated with The State Theatre in 2010, and granted her a position at the Mzanzi Fela Festival.


The 2014, Bloody Kraal, production by Bongano Benedict Masango secured Nhlanhla a feature. She had a chance to work with Mxolisi Masilela on a showcase titled Kwamba Women’s Festival. She featured in Indodana (by Kenneth Mphahlele), a dance production, `which was selected as one of the Best 10 Productions in 2015 at the National Arts Festival. Dube played the leading lady in White Project, a production that took part at the 2016 FNB Arts Fare. She went on to a production called Amend.

Nhlanhla recently dropped her virtual concert, "Nhlanhla Dube Live Virtual Performance" Lockdown(Edition) on YouTube which warmed South African's hearts and trended all over the internet, specifically the cover song, Senzeni by Dj Manzo ft Mthandazo Gatya.


She is also featured in the latest Zulu Mkhathini album, Spirit Of Ubuntu. Dube never ceases to present herself as a force to be reckoned with. She also played lead on Xova, a Gold Ovation Award-winning film at NAF 2019. 

Nhlanhla has further escalated her career especially in a theatre where she bagged a role in Shaka Zulu with Thamanga production in 2021 playing Shaka Zulu's sister (Nomcoba). Nhlanhla Dube is currently hosting a radio show at Mbono radio called The Weekend Amaphupho which is now on 4 plus million streams on all digital platforms combined and also filled up the Fringe event hosted by the state theatre which is the biggest theatre in Africa.

Apart from focusing on her music career, she gives back to the community by training young and upcoming artists in voice, writing and the music business as a whole.

Macaleni Muzi Shili
Born in Tembisa, Gauteng, Muzi Shili has been influenced by all kinds of traditional sounds and forms. Shili is a professional dancer, passionate performer, choreographer, teacher, singer and a magnificent creative composer of African melodies. Shili is an energetic, physically fit and confident dance teacher who has a successful track record of improving a student’s knowledge and understanding of dance. Shili is equipped with knowledge of theory and dance teaching as a graduate from Moving into dance. His contribution to every production that he gets involved in extremely positive. He uses his traditional background to manoeuvre and bring unique qualities to the arts. His stage presence continues to wow the audiences globally. Living in a country in dire need of role models, Shili continues to inspire youngsters to abstain from doing wrong. Shili prides himself in bringing change to society by doing street performance which deals with socio economic issues that directly impact our society and the world at large. In association with individuals like Sylvia Glasser, Gregory Maqoma, Robyn Orlin, Vincent Mantsoe and Nhlanhla Mahlangu, Shili’s depth of knowledge continue to be enriched. He has won the most outstanding performer in 2007 along side Vincent Mantsoe. 2016 became an historical year as he scooped an international award in Germany alongside Oscar Buthelezi. They did the same in 2018 in Hannover with the ROAD. In 2020 Muzi Shili left Moving into dance to work as an independent artist. As an independent artist Muzi continues to work with youth in Tembisa and surrounding areas of Ekurhuleni, to share knowledge, choreograph and direct and advise groups and group leaders.

  • Venue: Rehearsal Room
  • Location: Monument Building
  • Ticket price: ZAR 50.00
  • Programme type: The Fringe
  • Genre: Theatre
  • Duration: 50 min
  • Ages: 16+
    • Suitable for All Ages

There are no performances for this show.