Book Launch and Life Performance: Cockroach

You are invited to the launch and life performance of:

Cockroach – A trilogy of Plays by Jonathan Khumbulani Nkala

Jonathan Khumbulani Nkala is a young man from Kwekwe, Zimbabwe, living in Cape Town. The trilogy Cockroach bears witness to the dramatic arc of his life.

Childhood: The Bicycle Thief

We meet the boy Khumbu and his close-knit family. We observe the special relationship he and his father, David, have with each other and with David’s bicycle. We see the loss of this family. And we meet the bicycle thief. This is the story of the powerlessness of the boy Khumbu and the abuse of a vulnerable family, justified in the name of a cultural practice.

Youth: Faith in Love

Khumbu is a now a teenager. He is in love for the first time. However, to be in love as a teenager who is a member of the Apostolic Church in Kwekwe is dangerous and treacherous. To be Ndebele in a town that is predominantly Shona is also dangerous and treacherous. To fall in love with a rich man’s daughter when you come from a poor family is especially dangerous and treacherous. Witness the loss of innocence and the shocking brutality of Christian fundamentalism under the guise of proper conduct.

Adulthood: The Crossing

The last play of the trilogy deals with Khumbu as a young man, in search of “life in abundance”. He takes you on a journey from the dusty streets of Kwekwe, across the raging Limpopo River and into the perilous life of an illegal immigrant in South Africa.

Despite all these hardships, Cockroach is a story of resilience and triumph of the human spirit over adversity.

Jonathan will be performing Faith in Love (20 min) as part of the book launch.

Date: Wednesday 23 February 2011

Time: 5.30pm for 6.00pm

Venue: Lobby Books, Cape Town Democracy Center, 6 Spin Street

RSVP: Andreas Spath at or 021 467 7606


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