Toyota Woordfees Festival

This year was the first time Toyota Woordfees Festival in Stellenbosch introduced dance as a category into their 3-week programme.


About Abakhulu

Abakhulu – The Great Ones is a dance work examining how youth interpret the ancient wisdom of respect, as expressed in the initiation process in African culture to each traveller setting off on their journey to adulthood.

Nomination for Award

Indoni presented Abakhulu, a full-length, vibrant production featuring a cast of 27 dancers, that earned them a nomination for ‘Best Performance: Dance’.

The Choreography

Every living being is born equal. Award-winning choreographer, Sbonakaliso Ndaba, takes this value learnt in her childhood at the family home in the village and portrays, in a confrontational and dynamic series of intertwining relationships, how it can all go so horribly wrong.

Initiation in the past was a lengthy, slow and thorough process. The modern fast-tracked initiation is too short.


Youth emerge from this rite of passage without an innate sense of equality, without respect for women, respect for gay people, or indeed, respect for all.

Questions are asked of The Great Ones. What is now the reason for the initiation? It no longer fulfils the passing down of equality as an overarching value to the youth, nor the understanding that no one is superior, and that sheer physicality does not prove masculinity.