ISILILO is a look into the state of health institutions in South Africa through the life of a young boy whose dreams are deferred because of his father’s deteriorating health. As the story unfolds, we encounter young Gcina Mabitsela, the protagonist, having to choose between his career as a soccer star, the love of his life and caring for his father.

The Forge is honoured to present ISILILO again to Gauteng audiences on the 25, 26, 27 March. This play first debuted at the Market Theatre in 2020. 

Watch the Interview


Thursday 25 March 2021, 6pm

Friday 26 March 2021, 6pm

Saturday 27 March 221, 1pm


Siyambonga Mdubeki

Developed by the Cast

Zanele Mthombeni

Tsegofatso Masekwameng

Siyambonga Mdubeki


Ncumisa Ndimeni

Baleni Ernest


“I am watching this play for the second time now. This will be a mouthpiece for Life Esidimeni families, as our government looks down on us. They think that since they have compensated us, everything is alright. We still need justice for our own lost families. I think this play will give us justice.”
– Mrs Jabulile Hlatshwayo

“I lost my younger sister who had a disability, she was epileptic and she was lost into the system, I would like to put it, because she was sent to hospital and she never came back. There was never an explanation from the hospital as to what happened, but her body was bruised, with blood veins all over her, but no one explained what was going on. So the family just concluded that clearly she was given wrong medication because, how does someone go to hospital and just die without any explanation?”
– Zanele Mthombeni

“What a beautiful story, beyond the Activism, beyond the story. What an honor and a privilege to be part of that room and to witness all that. You know when you think of people from Life Esidimeni, you think of them from a state of, when they are already born, that they suffered from a mental health issue, but to go through the timeline of this man, for me it just hits home. It is so relatable, I could empathize. I left saying ‘what if this was my father? what if?'”
– Chris Djuma, Market Theater Lab