CN&CO to sponsor play at the National Arts Festival

As part of our commitment to developing the arts in South Africa, CN&CO has sponsored the set and props for a play that will be performed at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown in July. “The Wonderful World of Fok’s Park” was conceived, written and performed by alumni of St Stithians College in Johannesburg Winnie Moni, Stuart Young, Kirsten Segeren, Tshekiso Kepadisa and Jake Nathane, who is also the show’s director.

“Partnership between business and the arts is vital,” says CN&CO’s Carel Nolte. “The arts rely on business for mentorship, sponsorship and support, and business relies on the arts to remind us that there’s more to life than spread-sheets and bottom line.” 

Carel is a board member of Business Arts South Africa (BASA) and chair of the governing council at St Stithians College. 

“It’s incredible to be able to help young artists to express themselves,” he says. “Having your production being performed on stage at the National Arts Festival is a huge achievement. Artists such as these deserve all the help they can get in order to shine as brightly as they can.”

The following article was submitted by Jake upon receiving the sponsorship:


Words from the cast of ‘The Wonderful World of Fok’s Park’

Looking at current media and social events one cannot deny the irrevocable force of the youth specifically towards the end of 2015, as the students engaged in a national shutdown throughout South African universities. We, the students, demanded to be heard. We demanded to make our country a better place.

This call is reflective of the drive and passions of the young individuals within the arts and cultural sector. South Africa has had a sporadic relationship with theatre and the arts. However, this relationship has not included young, passionate individuals until now.

The cast of “The Wonderful World of Fok’s Park” is culturally and ethnically diverse and made up of individuals younger than 21. We wanted to challenge the ageist mentality within theatre and to encourage the youth to create and engage in theatre. With the help of CN&CO we have been able to achieve this.

Premiering this year at the National Arts Festival, Africa’s largest arts festival, “The Wonderful World of Fok’s Park” is a workshopped theatrical piece devised by the cast. Some of music in the piece has been written by upcoming young South African music producers.

fokspark2The piece is about Zake, a teenager who lives in The Wonderful World of Fok’s Park, a strange place where reality blurs with the memories of his past. It is a place that caters for his every need and it makes his existence a blissful one.

Tshimi, a girl who has run away from home, finds her way to Fok’s Park and encounters Zake, and the two of them get off to a rocky start; Zake isn’t willing to welcome strangers, and Tshimi doesn’t know if she can trust this unusual boy.

“The Wonderful World of Fok’s Park” is set in a dreamlike dystopia that has taken the form of a rundown theme park. It is dominated by bright, warm lighting and coloured bunting that creates the illusion that it’s a child-friendly place.

The piece tackles the difficulties of growing up, namely growing up too fast and taking on roles in the family that children shouldn’t have to assume.

It is an emotional and visual feast, with the audience being entertained by the spectacle of symbolism, choreography, lighting, colours and on-stage synergy between the two characters.

As young people in South Africa, the cast of “The Wonderful World of Fok’s Park” set out to change theatre mentality. We wanted to create an experience that causes audiences to question the decisions they have made over a period of time by revisiting the associated pain and trauma, and subsequently finding the way to closure.

Trauma falls under the umbrella of metal health and it is an issue that we are significantly concerned about and an issue that should be a national concern.

The cast of “The Wonderful World of Fok’s Park” would like to thank CN&CO for believing in the youth of this country and giving us the means to drive change in our country.

For more info visit The Wonderful World of Fok’s Park event page or keep up to date on the latest happenings on The Wonderful World of Fok’s Park Facebook page.

Foks Park poster