Kookfontein: A melting pot of sin and saving

by Tanweer Mohamed
Production: Is als oraait by die huis van die Here?
Photos: Pierre Rommelaere

“Die waarheid is ’n naarheid.”

Cold. Calculated. Correct.

These words sum up the state of Kookfontein in contemporary South Africa in Is als oraait by die huis van die Here

In this one-woman show Miché C. van Wyk takes on the role of a plenitude of characters which allows for a diverse audience to all find their moment of connection to the show. From the youth to people in the public service, to church-goers, to church-naysayers, van Wyk offers a voice to the voiceless by sharing sharp sentiments that are often left unsaid.

You know a show is good when the audience feels inclined to clap at the end of each scene!

Van Wyk’s writing allows for social commentary that is at times harsh, but also humorous. It’s about the church and the god we choose to follow. 

It’s also about the drugs. The alcohol. The crime. The neglect of the youth. The loneliness in suffering. The desperate longing for hope.

Is this another lament on the state of contemporary South Africa? Perhaps.

But there is not a single character that does not bring instant recognition.

Funny characters, yes, but also poignant moments.

Like the neglected child who hears ouma refers to the mother as a hoermeid.

“My ma is baie weg van die huis af. Ek verlang my ma.”

Then it hits you.

“Ek wil oek ’n hoermeid wees, want dan sal ek my ma sien.”

It is in this naivety that the power of the performance comes to the fore.

As the show provokes thought on the issues that plague South Africa, the audience cannot help but want to laugh and sing and dance.

The bonus is that the production is easy to follow. The lighting helps the transitions, the sound is exquisite and the stage design makes more sense as the show goes on. The change in characters, smooth transitions, snippets of singing and dancing and the humour, cultivates a good pace and rhythm. The audience is constantly engaged and before you know it, the show comes to an end.

It is not a bad thing to leave the show without a sense of closure. In fact, if all you leave with, is questions, it has laid the foundation to you finding where you need to take up space.

After all, do you really want to leave it up to government, church or peers to make that decision for you?