Nesting Doll
Theatre / Princess Alice

inside the sideboard cabinet there is a photo of a woman and the feet of a newborn child inside the left foot of the child there is a kraal with stones missing where the stones should be on the left there is a mountain that rises from Somerset East across the Atlantic inside the Atlantic the girl arrives shortly after the rain has fallen uMandisa uzalwa nguSindiswa, ozalwa ngu... ngubani ozal' uSindiswa? uThoko...ngubani ozalu Thoko?.... ngubani? 

Production Credits

Written by vangile gantsho

Performed by Mandisa Haarhoff

Directed by Wema Ragophala

music put together by pitsira ragophala 

Birth stories provided by Maggie Clifford 

About the Artists

vangile gantsho is healer, poet and co-founder of impepho press – a Pan Africanist intersectional feminist publishing house. She is the author of two poetry collections: red cotton (2018) and Undressing in Front of the Window (2015), holds an MA, with distinction, from the University Currently Known as Rhodes and is a graduate of the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute (Pioneer Class). In 2018, she was named one of Mail & Guardian’s Top Young 200 South Africans. Her poetry has been published in various literary publications around the globe, including New Daughters of Africa (2019). gantsho has participated in festivals and literary programmes across three continents. She has curated and produced in-person and online international programmes and co-created a poetry and film meditation called forgetting. and memory. with Toni Giselle Stuart and Vusumzi Ngxande. gantsho dedicates herself and her work (both as a teacher and a creative practitioner) to creating and/or supporting spaces that encourage (black feminine visibility and) healing. Her current obsessions include Ukuthula invoking silence, a creative writing resistance to gender based violence, and smallgirl rising  connecting the Divine Black Feminine, an international intergenerational poetry healing initiative.


Wéma Ragophala has worked at the intersection of art and community for over 20 years. She is a community organiser, director, performer, educator, and administrator. She has devised theatre, poetry, music, and visual collaborations with artists from Brooklyn and the African continent through Bridges: A Pan- Afrikan ARTS Movement with events like smallgirl rising: Connecting the Divine Black Feminine, Arts Action for Sudan, South African Freedom Day in Brooklyn. Wéma directed Sankofa Project, The Homecoming Queen, Grown Adorable Adult, In Her Memory. Wéma also wrote, performed, and toured her solo performance work, Roots, Rhythm, and Revolution. She has collaborated with artists and community as a StooPs Bedstuy artist, and developed new performance works like Listen, 900 Murmurs of Freedom, and Sounds of Freedom, a Juneteenth event. She is deeply invested in youth justice, disability justice, arts & activism, and fights to dismantle inequities, systemic racism, while building spaces where people of all ages and abilities thrive.

Mandisa Haarhoff is an Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at Penn State University. She is a playwright and actress who has performed in Lara Foot's Tshepang, directed by Janet Cohen, co-wrote Crawl with Mlondolozi Zondi which won the NAF best student play award, and her play Crushhopper won the Standard Bank Ovation Award in 2011. She is the co-producer of the Omnye Nomnye Performance Festival with Jonathan Eburne, hosted at Penn State University, State College.

  • Venue: Princess Alice
  • Location: Princess Alice Hall
  • Ticket price: ZAR 120.00
  • Programme type: The Fringe
  • Genre: Theatre
  • Duration: 60 min
  • Ages: ALL AGES
    • Suitable for All Ages
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