Can Themba Documentary to Premiere at the Market Theatre

Iconic Productions in association with the Market Theatre Foundation invites members of the media to attend the Can Themba Symposium to be held at the Market Theatre on Thursday, 13 September. The symposium, which pays tribute to the legendary writer and journalist, will include panel discussions where artists, academics, journalists and legends in the arts, culture and heritage sector will reflect on the legacy of Can Themba.

The opening lecture of the symposium will be delivered by distinguished scholar and former student of Can Themba, Prof Muxe Nkondo. This will be followed by a series of panel discussions on a range of topics and featuring the likes of Joe Thloloe, Yvonne Themba, Bheki Makhubu and Fred Khumalo among others. The symposium will culminate with the premiere of Can Themba: The Teacher in the Newsroom, a documentary that is an offshoot of Siphiwo Mahala’s academic research, for which he obtained a doctoral degree. The documentary features prominent cultural icons, academics and political activists like poet Don Mattera, legendary journalist Juby Mayet, academic and chair of Nelson Mandela Foundation, Njabulo Ndebele, as well as the late Nadine Gordimer, Keorapetse Kgositsile and Ahmed Kathrada, among others.

While Themba passed away more than 50 years ago, his life has continuously been celebrated through short stories, journalistic articles and theatre. Most notably, his short story, “The Suit” remains one of the most popular pieces of short fiction in the history of South Africa. The Suit as well as The House of Truth, Themba’s bioplay penned by Mahala and performed by legendary thespian Sello Maake kaNcube, were staged at the Market Theatre to sold-out shows and rave reviews in 2017. The Teacher in the Newsroom is the first documentary of Can Themba, who died in Manzini, Swaziland, on 8 September 1967.

In The Teacher in the Newsroom, Can Themba's life, writing, teaching, personal joys and political battles are relived through the voices of his former students, mentees, colleagues as well as public intellectuals. This dynamic and pithy documentary weaves together elements of Themba's life and career with deft wit and poise, recreating the sparkle and pathos of Sophiatown and the Drum era. This makes for an edifying and highly entertaining piece of history as told by prominent local voices.

For more information, please contact Ms Athenjiwe Mdumata at 0783675992 or email: or

Can Themba’s salon of debate recalled

In the words of fictional wizardry educator from the Harry Potter franchise, Professor Albus Dumbledore: “The truth” Dumbledore sighed. “It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.”

The House of Truth launched on Can Themba’s Anniversary

The evening of Friday, 8 September saw book lovers gathered at the Nelson Mandela Foundation for the launch of Siphiwo Mahala’s The House of Truth. The book is a bioplay inspired by the life of legendary writer and journalist Can Themba, from the illustrious 1950s generation of Drum writers.

We sell books by and about South African icons. The year 2017 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the passing of the legendary writer and journalist Can Themba, thus our focus in Book Sales were books written by this icon. The year 2018 is celebrated in South Africa as the Year of Nelson Mandela, in honour of what would have been our global icon’s 100th birthday.

Iconic Productions

Iconic Productions is a new black-owned production house whose work transcends different arts genres including literature, film, and theatre. We pride ourselves in our ability to transform ordinary stories into masterpieces of high artistic merit. Our team of highly qualified, experienced and motivated professionals boasts excellent skills in very diverse fields of speciality.

We offer services on commission in areas such as Artist Management, Production, Event Management, Strategic Management, Public Relations, Transcription and Translation Services, as well as Printing and Design. Following successful performance of the play at the 2016 Grahamstown National Arts Festival, Market Theatre and Soweto Theatre, we published The House of Truth as our first product in literature. We are expanding our sphere of work into the film industry and we are now at an advanced stage of producing a documentary.

We sell our products both online and in public platforms such as festivals, book fairs as well as during performances.

Can Themba's life, writing, personal joys and political battles explode into full colour in this energetic and pithy one-man play, starring South African acting legend Sello Maake kaNcube in its maiden run. Mahala weaves together elements of Themba's life and career with deft wit and poise, recreating the sparkle and pathos of the Drum era and Sophiatown before both were literally destroyed by apartheid legislation.

Themba Limba is When a Man Criesa family man who is caught between his flourishing career as a teacher and municipal councillor in the township of Sekunjalo, and his overriding sexual interests. Despite his attempts to maintain his status in the community, his actions eventually lead to his downfall.