“Writing is still one of the most difficult jobs I’ve ever had to do, but it’s all worth it.” — John Grisham

Billy Langa


Arts & Entertainment

Organisation / Company

Theatre Duo & Co


Being awarded the Standard Bank Young Artist of The Year For Theatre 2022 was one of the most memorable moments in the career of actor, playwright, director and educator Billy Langa, 35. He won the award for Tswalo, which he produced in collaboration with his friend, Mahlatsi Mokgonyana. The lesson he gained from the experience was that working with others can be of great benefit, especially for the audience. Billy is curious about the physicality of theatre, how it relates to the body and what it means both to those who perform it and those who witness it. He’s also interested in the presence of language in theatre and how the sounds we make in our daily lives can be used in productions. Much of his art is inspired by inward introspection and his intuition. He believes that with increased private sector sponsorship, theatre will become more accessible to the masses, but in addition, the architecture and structure of venues should be inviting and welcoming for audiences. For his next project, he’s helping to produce a play called Mehlala in conjunction with The Market Theatre Laboratory, which looks back at South Africa’s 30 years of democracy.


Certificate of Excellence (Theatre and Performance Studies), The Market Theatre Laboratory


To be awarded the Standard Bank Young Artist of The Year For Theatre 2022 has to be one of the most special moments of my career. There is validity in dreaming and world-making.

Tswalo was a significant part of this journey. What I learned from this, particularly from Tswalo, is that there is something very precious in collaboration: the path and pact of co-creating with my long-time friend and brother Mahlatsi Mokgonyana. It is evident that together as a duality, the light shines brighter, and the impact of our work is more prominent. Theatre has life in this country, and storytelling is perhaps one of the most fundamental ways of change-making.


Those who are ahead of us and continue to inspire us: Monageng Vice Motshabi, Jefferson Tshabalala and Andrew Buckland.