Most performers can attest to how demanding their careers can be. Maintaining physical fitness, staying in touch with your audience, rehearsals, networking, and many other things! I was astounded when I learned about a theatre practitioner. A role that requires a seamless merging of several performing arts aspects to induce standing ovation. Today we touched base with Hlobisile Mahlangu. A real-life experienced theatre practitioner. From her, we got the first-hand narration of the industry dynamics. The intricacies of her career and a glimpse into her personality. In the end, one can easily realize that Hlobisile is an intelligent, passionate, and hardworking (amongst many of her admirable attributes) woman who values her career and wishes the best for everyone else.
Simon: Please take us into the world of a theatre practitioner. What does it entail?
Hlobisile: As a theatre practitioner, I play multiple roles. I am a performer (actress and singer), I am also a director, writer, and facilitator. I also have additional skills as a radio presenter, voice-over artist, and events and TV host.
Simon: Thank you. So, what do you like about your work?
Hlobisile: I love storytelling. I like how my work enables me to step into the role of people from different walks of life. It also quite therapeutic, it gives you the capacity to deal with a lot of life's problems.
Simon: What is your most favorite project so far?
Hlobisile: I had the pleasure of writing and directing my first stage play post-training called Mbaleyehlwithwa. November 2020 right now, I've written and am directing another play which will premiere at The 4th Annual Tembisa Theatre week taking place at the TX Theatre from the 23rd to 31st of Jan 2021. It is called My brother's daughter. Right now directing is the highlight of my career I love to watch my vision being brought to life.
Simon: Awesome! Third last question, if you had the power to do something about your industry what would it be?
Hlobisile: I wish the industry was taken more seriously by the government. I wish it was regulated and there were laws in place that protect artists from exploitation. I wish there were also more primary schools and high schools that include art in their curriculum.
Simon: True, I totally agree with this. Second last question, what advice would you give to a person who wants to be a theatre practitioner?
Hlobisile: Respect your craft. Never cut corners. Be disciplined enough to work hard until every single one of your dreams is realized. It is far from easy but it is possible and worth it. Be open to learning…you can never know enough.
Simon: Awesome! What are your future plans? With regards to your career?
Hlobisile: I would love to one day when I feel I have accumulated more knowledge and experience to put together a mentorship program that will guide young artists at the early stages of their careers. Most artists fall into depression because they're not aware of the challenges that come with trying to make a living out of the arts. I would have loved to have someone to talk me through the rejections and struggle of building a brand that the audience can trust and invest in.
Spoken by Hlobisile. A self-made woman! A mogul in the making! Her words are worth noting, especially for those seeking to follow this career path. It's an honor and a privilege to have her in our magazine.
Thank you for spending time with us 🤍