The Fat Black Women Sing

South Africa

Village Gossip Productions

Directed and Written by Napo Masheane


22nd Oct. 2018, 16:00/21:30

23rd Oct. 2018, 14:00/19:00

WHERE: East Warehouse Theatre 

Duration: 80 minutes (without intermission)

Performed in Sotho, Zulu, Xhosa and English, with Chinese & English Subtitles.


It’s strange watching a performance set in a backstage dressing room. Traditionally it is a space that the audiences are never privy to. But it is a cleverly used space, and these women’s lives, their hopes, fears and experiences are generally hidden from view.

— Annette Bayne, Citizen

The women reflect on their bodies and, between the intimate, daring and often hilarious exchanges, they sing a number of powerful Afro-jazz songs.

— Doreen Molefe, Daily Sun

The premise and magnificent performers (especially in song) are worth their weight in gold…

— Diane de Beer, Pretoria News

About The Black Women Sing

The Fat Black Women Sing is a choreo-poem theatre play that introduces us to five fabulously full figured black women, who perform at a local jazz club every Friday. The drama takes place back stage (dressing room) of the jazz club, where the women start peeling off layers of being black-fat-girls. We the audience begin to be privy to their relationship with food & their fabulous bodies. We witness and engage in their joy of being different and of growing into growing self-identity and self-esteem.

Through a common thread of amazing singing voices, these women confess about weight struggles, ideal love relationships, sexuality and deep wounds of being classified as ”Not Good Enough”. Through their music, dance and acting they stand against the norm, re-write the standard of beauty and HER-story. Back Stage they form sisterhood bonds, engage in child-like games, bring humour to the surface and learn to accept and love themselves.

About Napo Masheane

Napo Masheane was born in Soweto, grew up in Qwaqwa (Free State) and holds degrees in Marketing Management and Speech & Drama, and a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from Rhodes University. She is a playwright, scriptwriter, poet, stage director, translator and acclaimed performer on both international and national stages. Napo is a founding member of Feela Sistah! Spoken Word Collective and with its demise, went on to become one of South Africa’s leading black female theatre makers, after her provocative and humorous one woman show My Bum Is Genetic Deal With It and The Fat Black Women Sing.

She later became the nominee of the Daimler Chrysler South African Poetry Award in 2005, winner of the Mbokodo Theatre Award 2012 and Pan African Language Award, PALA 2014 (for Sesotho Language). She has two poetry collections, Caves Speak in Metaphors and Fat Songs for my Girlfriends, while picked up on the international circuit was one of her monologues performed by leading actor, Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave) at Royal Court. In 2015 she became the first black woman to produce and direct a play: A New Song, at the Market Theatre main (John Kani theatre). Between 2017 and 2018 Napo held the position of Deputy Artistic Director of The South African State Theatre, which is the biggest theatre on the continent. Presently Napo is the Managing Director of her theatre company, Village Gossip Productions.


Directed and written by Napo Masheane

Stage Manager: Debra ‘Dee’ Leshika

Actress: Nomatamsanqa Ngoma - Thami

   Bridget Maswanganye - Bree

   Duduzile Makhoba - Dudu

   Siyasanga Papu - Siya

   Thokozile Ndimande - Thoko

Singer and Percussionist: Sebei Volley Nchabeleng

Bass Guitarist: Cornelius Bafana Ndhlovu

Keyboard Player: Sifiso Matsimela

About Village Gossip Productions 

Village Gossip Productions cc is a collaborative, multidisciplinary production and theatre company that seeks to nurture, encourage, empower and develop artists. Founded by Napo Masheane; she, together with Debra Leshika, further developed it to what it is today. The mission of the company is to create a space for artistic self-expression and self-identification. The vision is to establish art-networking programs with similar organizations both nationally and internationally. During the past ten years, we have worked and collaborated with: Equal Opportunity Productions (Los Angeles), Wimbledon School Of Art (United Kingdom), Fuba School of Dramatic Arts, The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), The Market Theatre, Windybrow Theatre, Jungel Theatre in Bremen (Germany), University Of The Free State, Performing Centre Of The Free State (PACOFS), Joburg Theatre, University of Botswana, University of Johannesburg, University of Udine (Italy), University of Pretoria (Drama Department), AfroVibes (Netherlands), Royal Court (London), British Council (ConnectZA), The South Africa State Theatre, MACUFE, Dare to Dream Foundation, McClymonds Youth & Family Centre, Oakland (USA), Afrique-Carib Breathtaking Foundation (Netherlands) and Department of Arts and Culture (SA).