Nkhokwe Arts Group
Nkhokwe are a group of ex-prisoners using theatre to educate communities about socio-economic and legal issues, in a fun and accessible way. The members received Arts and Performance training within the prison, as part of the Chichiri Cultural Troupe. In 2014, after leaving prison and facing severe discrimination in their homes and communities, and therefore a lack of work opportunities, they began meeting to support each other with advice and prayer.
For the past year, Nkhokwe has been working under CHREAA and with MBP as Community Mobilisers; using their theatre skills to educate communities and prisoners (on remand and convicted) on their right to bail and how to apply for it. They perform a play that features four arrested men, and their different (successful and unsuccessful) approaches to applying for bail; covering issues about police corruption, the legal process and the consequences after arrest.
The project manager, is Maxwell Makande; an ex-offender who has transformed his life and is now an inspiration to those he works with – “When I first got out of prison in 2011, life was hard. Me and my wife struggled a lot but I knew that through prayer I was changed, and I would never commit a crime again. When Nkhokwe Arts was formed I was so happy. Everyone is encouraging us and we are really doing good in the community. I have a young son now who is going to school and my wife has been able to start a small business.”