Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

A ‘necessity being the mother of invention’ type thing

My theatre life began pretty early on. I was born in the United States but raised in Zimbabwe. I actually spent a lot of time in theatre there as a child. I was part of a children’s performing arts workshop [Chipawo], which really introduced me to the dramatic arts.

The head of the workshop, one of the founders, [Robert McLaren] is a professor of English and dramatic arts. He taught at the University of Zimbabwe for several years, but originally he’s a white South African/Brit. He indoctrinated me into theatre back then and got me very interested in the craft. And then it just kind of snowballed, throughout high school and into college, though I wasn’t a theatre major. I was a psychology major.

In terms of writing, I just wasn’t finding enough stories about contemporary African people — or historical, just anything, the whole gamut. I was raised in Southern Africa and I came back to the West for college. I was starting to look for what I would like to perform, what I would like to see put to life onstage, and I was finding many stories about everybody else, but none about my own people. My playwriting became a “necessity being the mother of invention” type thing. I wasn’t finding what I wanted to perform, so I started to create it myself.

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Danai Gurira
Danai Jekesai Gurira is an American actress and playwright.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

SAA takes to the skies again after 18 months grounded

After an 18-month hiatus, the national carrier has done away with major routes that would have required it to use much larger fleets

The South African Bone Marrow Registry celebrates 30 years of...

‘It’s not drilling into bones!’: Misconceptions keep donors away, says SABMR, but a match outside of a patient’s family is a needle in a haystack

More top stories

SAA takes to the skies again after 18 months grounded

After an 18-month hiatus, the national carrier has done away with major routes that would have required it to use much larger fleets

Judge John Hlophe withdraws interdict against parliament

The matter will be heard by a judge of the Johannesburg division when the matter is re-enrolled

Almost 2 000 South Africans step up to report corruption

The most-reported crimes range from extortion and abuse of authority to Covid-19 related graft, according to a new report by Corruption Watch

Nersa approves Karpowership generation licences

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse has questioned why Nersa has not immediately provided its reasons for issuing the controversial generation licences
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×