Locked Doors, Behind Doors – A story relevant to many South Africans

“Locked Doors, Behind Doors” explores the pandemic lockdown in relation to South Africa’s silenced, almost forgotten, history of slave and migrant labour. Directed by directed by choreographer, Sbonakaliso Ndaba. The Artscape season premiers the stage version of this moving production.


In a world upended by a pandemic, lockdown levels and restricted freedoms fear, anger, anxiety and hopelessness became overriding emotions. Present generations of South Africans lived isolated in their homes, many in cramped and crowded conditions in the townshipsThis situation increased their vulnerability to infection.

Together with her dancers, Ndaba researched our history of lockdowns and forged a work that remembers, with respect and compassion, the thousands of those residing in South Africa who lived and worked under conditions even more appalling and restricted.


They firstly delved deeper into histories of the generations of slaves who were stripped of their own identities, home and family, then transported and sold to provide labour to the colony whilst being housed in overcrowded, disease – ridden lodges.


They then turned their spotlight on generations of migrant labourers, who were housed in cramped single sex hostels, controlled by curfews and the infamous pass book.


The work initially premiered at the little-known preserved Hostel 33 at the Lwandle Migrant Labour Museum on 1st May 2021, Workers Day, to celebrate the 21st year of their opening as a museum.


The creation and performance of “Locked Doors, Behind Doors” was developed in partnership with the Goethe-Institut of South Africa as part of the Goethe-Institut Project Space (GPS) together with additional funding from PESP funding through National Arts Council, and DSAC (National Department of Sports Arts and Culture) and DCAS (Provincial Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport), Business and Arts South Africa and TEMO

Sbonakaliso Ndaba began her career in the performing arts in 1992 with Jazzart Dance Theatre under the direction of Alfred Hinkel for 8 years. She went on to co-found the PHENDUKA Dance Theatre in Durban, and then to teach and choreograph for Jazzart, Moving into Dance and many others.

In 2014, Ndaba took under her wing, five unemployed youth from the township of Khayelitsha who had studied dance in school. Funded initially from her back pocket, Sbonakaliso decided to train them professionally as dancers. From this passionate endeavor, with the help of additional founding members, evolved Indoni Dance Arts and Leadership Academy with Sbonakaliso as its Artistic Director.


“Locked Doors, Behind Doors”

Directed and choreographed:  Sbonakaliso Ndaba

Venue: Artscape

Date & Times: 17, 18 February 2022 @ 20h00; 19 February @ 16h30 & 20h00



Bookings: Computicket and Artscape


Website: http://indoni-academy.org/

Instagram: #indoniacademy

Twitter:  @IndoniDance

Facebook: IndoniAcademy


For interviews and information please contact :

Paula Kelly

Cell: 083 267 3029

Email: paulak@artslink.co.za