Tsepo wa Mamatu

Drama lecturer, University of Witwatersrand

�Poetry makes nothing happen,� WH Auden wrote in his tribute to WB Yeats. This is a line Wits theatre arts lecturer Tsepo wa Mamatu, who describes himself as an "activist through and through,� would have problems with. Wa Mamatu has written and staged a few political plays. In 2006, he wrote 100% Zulu Boy, an activist piece. He followed this with Stormpie, a play based on the life of Winnie Mandela. At the moment he's working on a piece called Mbeki and Other Nitemares. Wa Mamatu, born in 1979, is collaborating with a similar minded rabble-rouser, columnist and scholar, Andile Mngxitama, on a book, which examines the representation of blackness in post-apartheid South Africa. Wa Mamatu is a PhD candidate at Wits and his thesis is concerned with the question � posed since Ghana's independence from Britain in 1957 � about the capacity of Africans to govern. Wa Mamatu says the intellectuals of this country "must resist the temptation to be bought to dance in the king's court�. It's not likely he will be tempted to the new king's court because he has been chosen as this year's Johannesburg Repertory Fellow and will be spending more time in New York. � Percy Zvomuya

Gramadoelas, Newtown, Johannesburg