BUSH Radio Drama Workshop

The group at Bush Radio I was to work with is called Alternative Kerriculum for Mentoring Youth (ALKEMY), This group of young people encourages youth at risk to claim responsibility and take ownership of the issues affecting their lives. ALKEMY has been running for three years, at times focusing on workshop sessions that equip youth at risk with the necessary tools to employ critical thought when analyzing issues such as high rates of drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, gangsterism, violent crime, and illiteracy among youth, especially youth in the Cape Flats and the Township areas.

For a radio drama to be done, first one has to experience a radio drama in its full form. The next step would be to create and develop a radio drama serial.

It is through a self sustaining radio drama serial that the radio station will have a vehicle to continue working, on an on-going basis, with the issues of their daily lives.

So the first task is to take three weeks and do a radio drama. Then take another three weeks to develop a serial, or what would be known as a radio soap opera. This is where we started.

I came to Cape Town, South Africa and Bush Radio on a Wednesday and started to set things up. Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday was spent talking to people, acclimating myself to Cape Town, and learning more about the workings and policies of Bush Radio. The group came together on Monday, the 17th of November. Somewhere during that first weekend Zane Ibrahim requested the first part of the workshop focus on a presentation for World AIDS day, which was coming up on December 1st, two weeks from the start of the workshop.

It was good to have this focus as my workshops always deal with health issues, domestic issues – mainly around abuse, and social issues.

When the group of young people (ages 17 to 25) came together, we sat down to identify issues in their community.

We took a poster board sized paper and one person started writing down the community issue suggestions voiced by the group of about 8 people. We knew we had to deal with AIDS, so we put it down as the first issue. They then identified some other issues: High Blood Pressure, Substance abuse, Domestic abuse, Immigration problems, Poverty, Sexism, Teenaged pregnancy, Sexuality and War. These were the topics they chose. I then had them list under these topics/issues; sub-topics or underlying issues to those listed. The entire session brought this list to the fore:

  1. H.I.V./AIDS
  2. Immigration/xenophobia
  3. Substance abuse
  4. Poverty and its consequences
  5. Sexism
  6. Sexuality
  7. Teenage pregnancy
  8. High blood pressure
  9. Domestic abuse

Underlying issues

  1. HIV and Aids

2. Immigration/xenophobia issues

3. Substance abuse

4. Poverty and its consequences

5. Sexism

6. Sexuality

7. Teenage pregnancy

8. High blood pressure

9. Domestic abuse


These were the issues. The question posed to the group was what was the most effective way of dealing with these issues? We also had to keep in mind, we are in Cape Town, South Africa, and so we needed to remember Cape Town is the centrepiece we want things to revolve around. People looked around at each other rather blankly. This always happens, so in the beginning of these workshops it is more me leading the discussion and laying the groundwork, but the technique is to withdraw oneself until the participants take full charge.

It is the concept of "The Vanishing Leader." Where the participants in the workshop gradually take on the tasks and responsibilities of the production to the point where they may even wonder why the workshop facilitator was even necessary at all.

After identifying issues within their circumstance, it was suggested we create a character outside of the Cape Town experience to bring to the City. This would help listeners to see "The Mother City" through fresh eyes. Given the issues we wanted to address, I further suggested this person be a young girl, just coming of age. We settled on a 16 year-old from the Congo who after spending time in Paris, France would come to Cape Town to stay with her uncle (father’s brother) and his Capetonian Coloured wife of 40 years. We gave the 16 year-old the name of Belle – short for Isabelle. (In Cape Town, folks have a tendency of shortening given names.) And, of course Belle would have to have a best girlfriend. We picked Lolo as a 17 year-old who was set back in a previous grade and has a reputation as a "bad girl" to be that friend. Because I knew I wanted to create an on-going, five-day-a-week, radio serial out of this experience, I suggest Lolo have a male best friend who would be a poet. The reasoning being that to sustain a daily 3 to 5 minute radio serial or soap opera, we would need to create several situations where daily episodes could be quickly or at least written/created well in advanced of the projected air dates.

We then looked closely at the issues we wanted to explore and started creating characters that would embody the concerns expressed in these issues. Some were obvious: The Uncle could have high blood pressure, Belle could have immigration problems. Then we began creating characters specifically for our issues of concern. So if Belle would have immigration problems, then we could have a guy in the Home Affairs office be an antagonist to our central character, and the best friends sister could have contracted AIDS, the best friend could even have an older boyfriend who is a criminal. Everything spiraled out from there. Lolo and her older half sister live with their mother in a single-head-of-household home situation; Belle’s uncle would be a street hawker who is a musician, while his wife would be a homebound wise woman. Lolo’s boyfriend would also be a popular township D.J., while the poet friend supplies electricity to the townships by illegally wiring up shacks to the monopoly electric companies poles.

In the Bush Radio Policies and Procedures Manuel, chapter 2 (the programming chapter) section 3 (on language) point 8, it states: The following breakdown of languages will be upheld: English (50%), Afrikaans (25%), and Xhosa (25%).

Since as part of Bush Radio’s stated mandate to the community, all three (South African) languages are to be broadcast, we created an Afrikaans character.

In fact, we started the drama with this character – a truck driver who complains about a perceived STD to a Sex Worker in the opening scene of Cape Town Belle.

We also knew we wanted to go beyond stereotypes so we even had Lolo’s sister contracting AIDS from a lesbian lover as they "played" with each other with sex toys.

We went and broke down each of the expressed concerns into sub-categories and looked to embody our characters with these concerns.

So from the beginning, the idea was for the issues to be character driven, rather than the characters espouse issues. The idea being to have the listening audience identify with life-like characters who would then embody the community machinations with all the answers, questions, resolutions, pitfalls, shortfalls, upliftments, and whatever else is the stuff of real life situations. The thought is that it is more effective to have an audience ride the storm of a soap opera world for real-life information, then be preached to about proper behavior and the like. It becomes more human and tangible to one as they see a character handle the same situations of the real world.








The approach used to a radio drama workshop, is one of recognizing the process as essentially a writing workshop. One of taking the view that the participants are communicators, and if we all are "talking books," then the first thing folks should do is communicate: communicate their world, their emotions. Everyone has an intuitiveness about their surroundings, their world. They all know an aunt or uncle or bureaucratic official or sister or best friend. They have an intuitive idea on what these people/characters are about, how they function. In fact, their perceptions are just as valid as a writer/researcher who comes into the community and leaves to create characters for a book or magazine article or film script. So my approach is to get the folks to use their intuitiveness in such a way as to communicate their perceptions. As soon as they communicate, they can transpose i.e. write. This makes the workshop experience a writing workshop that comes from another point of view. It is not a cerebral exercise; it is not a formulaic exercise. It becomes more of an organic situation. It is coming from a real world situation. One does not have to be literate to be part of the workshop. One just needs to be accurate in the world one wants to create.

The participants understood this was their world, created with their rules.

At one point, I even explained this was not some outsider coming to study their circumstance, going back to a villa somewhere else in the world – far away from their community, writing up a perceived reality. Then bringing the story to commercial backers, who hired their fellow cronies, who are far removed from their reality to tell their story from that outsider’s point-of-view. They, not an outsider to their reality, were creating this, directing this, setting all the parameters for this informed reality. I explained all the things they had been fed through movies, television and the rest could be gotten rid of in this world they could shape. Since it was radio drama all the rules were quite different. As an example, I pointed out that the Afrikaans truck driver could speak in his mind English and question through this mind monologue his own existence as a Boer. He wonders why or how he came to hold these narrow views toward other human beings and why could he not change his circumstance. This could be done in echo even as his dialogue espouses the opposite.

Early on in the process, a question was asked about the possibility of making an on-going serial of 15 minutes a day as well as what other programming opportunities could be culled from the workshop. Part of my email response read:

When we run the on-going radio drama serial we will deal with all health issues germane to the townships as well as the general Cape Town area. This as you know will launch at the end of December and go on for as long as BUSH Radio can sustain the program. Which leads us to the program’s length. The intent of all my workshops to create on-going radio drama serials is to have the lengths be no more that eight (8) minutes. Three (3) to (5) minutes is optimum. The reason for this goes to the nature of the medium in which we toil. Radio as a communications medium works like this: Morning drive time is the highest listenership, owing to the fact people listen for short bits of useful information as they prepare their day. Things like News, Weather, the time, traffic situations, etc. This holds true also for afternoon drive time with more of an emphasis on the traffic conditions. The evening brings longer forms of communication on to the overnights, where there generally is a calming type of programming. And the next day brings the cycle again until we reach the weekend where adjustments are made to accommodate specialized programming.

In my way of working, I do not want to tie up the actors or broadcast resources for a radio serial for more that an hour a week. This includes mostly recording and editing time. It does not include script development. The script story lines should come from various sources into the station for a head writer to then weave them into the on-going serial. A stable of actors and directors would deal with the recording of these story lines. The engineers, working with the directors, add the original music and sound effects to complete the serial. At times, an episode may be done live in the studios. It is also possible to have a community event where a live audience is part of a special presentation at a venue where the actors present a longer program for a special concern.

The only situation I see a longer program is on the weekends where there could be a weekend wrap of the past weeks goings-on in the radio drama serial. This would be a half hour presentation with perhaps an additional half-hour for listener phone calls and feedback on the topics and issues presented. In fact, depending on the response, I believe this type of program can be presented in a two-hour format where you have

I had them going home after the first day thinking about the possible approaches to the drama.They were to basically gestate on the categories and characters.

The next day – Tuesday, we began writing.

The first thing we did was to identify scenes or situations that would address not only characters but also the stated issues in an organic way.

These were the scene situations we decided would work in the drama:

Cape Belle Scene Breakdown:

Together we wrote one scene on one computer.

We wrote a scene involving the old couple who was to be Belle’s guardians – The Kayembe’s.

Then, in groups of two’s and three’s, they started writing on two computers, with folks shifting groups as their interests dictated. With a minimum of prodding - an encouragement here, a short discussion there, they were well on the way to bringing Cape Town Belle to the page.

On the Thursday we were asked to write a jingle or promotional spot for the station. In a couple of hours we wrote and recorded 3 jingles. This ended up being a great break, in what we were doing, as it gave them a confidence in the accomplishment of a task, which was very much like the work we were engaged.

We also wrote and recorded promotional spots, including one in Xhosa, for our drama.


-For those who need to know-

BUSH Radio in association with NOMMO Radio

On the evening of Monday, December 1st

Coinciding with international AIDS day

Will welcome Belle to the Mother City

-Prepare yourself

Promo #2

BUSH Radio is extremely proud to announce the arrival of Cape Town Belle to the Mother City.

You will be able to meet Belle and all her family and friends on Monday, December 1st as part of the World AIDS day awareness activities.

So tune in sometime during Lukano’s uplifting program "Everyday People"… or is it "Everyday Bantu"?

You know what the deal is tune in sometime after 4 p.m. on Monday, December 1st and experience a whole new world.

Only over 89.5. BUSH Radio in the mother of all cities – Cape Town, South Africa.

Promo #3

Molweni, hoesit, how’s it! People my people…Have you heard about Cape Town Belle? Well, she has arrived in the MOTHER CITY!! So settle down and get ready to share in on the lives of Belle and all her peoples. Listen to the drama unfolding on World AIDS Day right here on the Bushy one. Join Lukano on ‘Everyday Bantu’ on Monday the 1 December 2003 btw 4 and 7pm to catch the action. Don’t miss it…

Promo # 4

Molweni baphulaphuli ninjani apho emakhaya. Niche neva ngoCape Town Belle ozakufika apha kweli lee ntlanzi IMOTHER CITY. Ukuba akunjalo sanukubanexhala ngoba u Bush radio uzakuniphathela ibali leligqiyazana kunye nezihlobo nezalamane zakhe ngomvulo umhla we 1 ku Disemba. Elibali liyinxalenye ye World AIDS day. Zenithathe ke izitulo zenu nisondele kunomathotholo nimamele inqubo ka Lukhanyo ukusukela ngentsimbi yesine ukuya kweye sixhenxe kwisitishi sethu esisithandayo uBush Radio 89.5

By the end of the week we had about 24 scenes written. At some point they realized some scenes and situations could we collapsed into each other. We ended up by Sunday with 19 workable scenes for the radio drama.

There was even a 16 year-old student from a school visiting Bush Radio for the week. I had her read the script and she came up with this promo for the broadcast:

Stephanie’s Promo

Cape Town Belle: a fascinating story dealing with the relevant issues of modern sex and complex relationships in the age of HIV/AIDS. No matter what line of work you are involved with, no matter what kind of lifestyle you lead, this compelling story can help to redefine your life, goals and ambitions.

Tune in to Bush Radio on the 1st of December between 6:45 and 8:00pm for a dramatic radio experience you are not likely to forget.

There was a doctor visiting the station from Switzerland. We asked him to look over the scene in which Dr. Patel tells Wouter he is HIV positive. We wanted to know if it seemed authentic. He said it was very accurate.

We went to the Cape Town organization SWEAT (Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce) to get information from them having to do with prevailing stereotypes around Sex Workers.

From the start, one of the points made to the group had to do with the altering of stereotypes. Having everyone keep in mind the fact that we were creative workers trying to approach modern issues from a point of view that was engaging and, just enough, off the well worn polemics, to hold an audience throughout the year(s) of broadcasting. Part of the technique is to have everyone very much aware of where the series can evolve, even as we keep in mind its original intent. At the same time,h participants understand we do not have to throw every issue into this initial story. One of the hardest creative points to address is the phenomenon of an artist putting everything into their initial projects. To this end, what we could not comfortably fit into the pilot we will be able to address in the series is stressed, repeatedly. And we did not have to even put issues in right away. If we know a national day for Breast Cancer was coming up in March or May, we could begin gearing the series toward that issue as the time approached. The same would go for all other issues such as Prostate Cancer or a national non-smoking day or any social/political event coming up in the calendar year.

We started honing the work and began casting the project with actors, friends, and Bush radio staff as well as volunteers. Staffing tasks were assigned such as director, co-director, music director, sound designer, technical director, engineer, graphic designer…we even had a costume designer and a set designer. The latter positions help in the mood and general atmosphere change of the studios to more of a theatre feel. If your character is a policeman, you feel more like that authority with a badge. If you play a secretary, you feel more in character with a phone in your hand.

It was now time for some of the technical aspects of the production to be addressed. The sound designer, along with the Foley (live sound effects) crew, went out to gather (mini-disc and microphone in hand) sound and plot the music and sound elements of the production. They created this sound chart for the production:





Cast and crew intro

Prop hat –Paul hanmer


Intro song –section from Prop hat


Wouter and sex worker


Truck sounds


Intro song –section from prop hat


Kayembes at home

Abduls piano piece in the background

Cleshe sound bite for Tilly’s

Infamous quotes-from Immortal Beloved-Childhood dreams

Section from Kayembes at

Home –(Patrice sings song)

Bisou Sucre-Africanism-track 2



House on fire-Sankomota-track 7



Belles arrival at the Kayembes


Doorbell ringing door opens door closes


House on fire –(plays when Belle tells

Her story)

Door opens –door closes

Intro song to next scene-from prop hat


Wouter at home


Daughters running foot steps

Ringing phone and Wouters echo


Mafikizolo Webuti/sibongile album

Intro to Busi and Lolo HIV disclosure


Busi and Lolo HIV disclosure

Song that plays when they turn up the radio is Mafikizolo Webuti/Sibongile album


Outro to this scene is the same as above


Intro to next scene hard hat jive –Tananas this song play throughout the scene


Patrice and the youngster





Intro to next scene from Masigoduke

McCoy Mrubata

Open and close doors

Wouter at the Kliniek


Intro to next scene

School break efx

Belle meets Lolo

Skwatta kamp rau-rau and manyisa

When the Jimbos intimidate Belle


Intro to next scene from Masigoduke

McCoy Mrubata


Support Group scene


Wouters echo’s


Street life -Randy Crawford

Plays throughout the scene


Sizwe and Achmat A.K.A

DJ Akes


Intro to next scene from San Song –

San and Zim Ngqawana


Patrice shows Belle around

Town –Patrice at work


Street ambience and Cleshe sound bite, restaurant ambience


Loop songs my mother taught me-Soweto String Quartet from 0sec-9sec


Sizwe and Lolo at the Lake


Frog and bird sounds

Sizwe’s father echo


Intro to next scene track 3 from Funk Jazz CD


Lolo and Thandi about Busi


Intro to this scene track 7-Funk Jazz CD


Belle meets Mr Matthews


Traffic and restaurant ambience

Mr Matthews echo



Intro to this scene track 8-Funk Jazz CD

Dogs barking and crickets, glass breaking

Achmat robs Wouter’s house


Intro to this scene track 13 Funk Jazz CD


DJ Akes’ Party (edit this long scene


Intro to this scene track 8 Funk Jazz CD


Wouter and Busi Friendship

Play track 2 Funk Jazz CD


Play track 4 Funk Jazz CD plays throughout this scene

Phones ringing ,open and close doors x2

Belle at Home affairs


Intro to this scene

Wouter echo, doors open and close

Wouter’s Death scene


Announcers Bronwyn and Junior


They came back quite satisfied and happy with the sound they gathered


Ronald Heemskerk, an intern from Holland, acting as our publicist, helped to write this press release sent out to the Cape Town press:

Bringing back to life…. RADIO DRAMA IN CAPE TOWN. In collaboration with Bush Radio 89.5FM, ‘CAPE TOWN BELLE’ pilot will be on-air as part of World AIDS-day, on the 1st of December. A 75-minute slot will be broadcast from 6:45 to 8:00pm in Everyday People… hosted by Lukhanyo Sitshongaye. A radio drama series will start at the end of December.

For World AIDS Day, Bush radio presents a historic journey through the eyes of a 16-year old. We invite you to join with the Bush radio family as we all are introduced to Cape Town’s loveliest Belle.

Belle is surrounded by loving guardians, dedicated friends, jealous suitors, helpful citizens and ordinary everyday wankers.

Ooh… you didn’t know, it’s a soap opera!

Bush Radio revives the classical radio drama form, for your pleasure and education. Tune in Monday the 1st of December, World AIDS-Day, for the first pilot of a series, which will begin the end of the month.

What is the story about:

The intelligent, creative members of the Alkemy-group are writing and producing a radio drama series to be begin at the end of December. The pilot for this series has been completed for December 1st, WORLD AIDS-DAY. The focal issue will be HIV AIDS.

In the pilot you will meet the following characters:

How will these lives weave together? That is what you have to find out while you are listening to Bush Radio 89.5FM at 6:45 p.m. on December 1st.

Cape Town Belle will be live on air from 6:45 till 8:00p.m., make sure you are there!!!







We had planned to have two to three days of rehearsal, but it didn’t quite work out that way.

We ended up rehearsing and recording the same evening.

Unfortunately, we did not have all the technical equipment in place for the rehearsal. It would have been good to record the rehearsal, as there were some brilliant moments that just could not be duplicated later in the evening. This was a serious setback in that we could not keep the actors beyond a certain hour - everyone volunteered their time. The final product did reflect the technical short comings, which we vowed to improve in the series.

But everyone have a grand time.

This was the cast and crew list for the pilot of Cape Town Belle, which ran a total of 52 minutes.

Director: Oko Theo Camngca

Co Director: Coslyn Schippers

Music Director: Ade Ed Camngca

Graphic Designer: Marlon Burgess

Tech Director: Shaheen Ariefdien

Engineer: Ade Ed Camngca

Set Designer: Coslyn Schippers

Sound Designer: Ade Ed Camngca

Stage Manager: Bronwyn Van Graan

Executive Producer /

Facilitator: Anthony Sloan

Publicist: Ronald Heemskerk

Writers: Wanda Mxosana

Tandisizwe Mahlutshana

Coslyn Schippers

Ade Ed Camngca

Oko Theo Camngca

Zaki Ibrahim

Melisizwe Lukhulwana

Bronwyn Van Graan

Anthony Sloan

Foley: Wanda Mxosana

Tandisizwe Mahlutshana

Cast: Adrian Alberts - Councilor

Avanthi Moodliar - Customer 2 & Friend

Aziza Abrahams - Auntie Tilly

Andre Wyderman - Wouter

Andrea Dondolo - Thandi

Bronwyn Van Graan - Sex Worker

Chuma Siphothela - Lolo

Erna Curry - Dr. Patel

Estelle Steenkamp - Marionette, Daughter & Son

Gama Bandawe - Mr Matthews

Magnus Bjørnsen - Customer 1

Melisizwe Lukulwana - Sizwe

Mbulelo Grootboom - Achmat aka Dj Akes

Nobuntu Mgolombane - Busi

Ndumiso Kazi - Jimbo 1

Sarah Luboya - Cindy

Tandisizwe Mahlutshana - Jimbo 2

Theo Camngca - Sizwe’s father

Thato Motjolopane - Belle ( Isabelle )

Wanda Mxosana - Paul








We went into the second phase of the workshop upon returning from the holiday break on Monday the 5th of January.

We immediately began work on the serial with this character list and background information:

  1. Isabelle "Belle" Kayembe 16yrs
  2. Belle is from the DRC where she spent most of life (0-14yrs), then lived in Paris for a year (15-16yrs) and finally came to South Africa on her 16th birthday. She is Patrice’s niece. Belle’s mother was killed when Belle was 13yrs.

  3. Belle’s Father – DeliKola 55yrs
  4. He is Patrice’s brother living in Kinshasa. He is a farmer and is also secretly involved in smuggling operations.

  5. Belle’s mother - Sinnny (Dead – speaks as spirit) 40yrs
  6. Mercenaries killed her when they were looking for Belle’s father and she wouldn’t disclose the whereabouts of her husband so they tortured her to death. Belle was only 13yrs when her mother died.

  7. Patrice 60yrs
  8. Patrice walked from Zaire to Cape Town at the age of 20. He has been residing in Cape Town for 40yrs. He is a musician and he is also a hawker. He married a lady Aunty Tilly during his first year in Cape Town. They are headed towards their golden wedding anniversary.

  9. Aunty Tilly 60yrs
  10. She is a mother figure and is stable & wise highly respected in the community. Her knowledge of "women sayings" is very broad.

  11. Aunty Tilly's daughter - Amelia 37yrs
  12. At the age of 17 she left school at Grade 11 to study nursing and bring in money to her family because her parents never had fixed jobs. Amelia and Jermaine married 7 years and got married.

  13. Amelia’s husband – Jermaine 30yrs
  14. Jermaine grew up 2 blocks from Amelia, works every now and then on construction and drinks all of his wages up.

  15. Aunty Tilly’ neighbour – Charmaine 59yrs
  16. She is very talkative and she always knows the latest gossip. She is divorced due to her weakness of talking too much (She used to publicise her family business).

  17. Mr Matthews 26yrs
  18. He is a sexaholic. He is a Home officer and the son of textiles tycoon. His aunt owns Matthews Button and Hole Company.

  19. Mr Matthews’ Secretary - Anita 22yrs
  20. She is the younger sister of Charnette and Marionette. She has two sons who are twins. She used to work for Pops Matthews in his labour sweatshop.

  21. Secretary twins
  1. Pops Matthews 75yrs
  2. He is of a sweatshop. He has 11 kids but only one (Matthews) is younger than 35yrs.

  3. Coco (Pops Matthews girlfriend) 35yrs
  4. She is an independent entrepreneur. Is a "Fence" for stolen goods.

  5. Sizwe 17yrs
  6. He is Xhosa. At school he is popular with the girls. He is an electronic whiz - pirate broadcaster and steals electricity etc. our Robin Hood. He is a poet but if you ask him to recite a poem he recites only his political poems though he writes poetry on all subjects.

  7. Sizwe’s Father (dead – speaks as spirit)
  8. He was a political fighter: he also inspires Sizwe from the beyond.

  9. Lolo 17yrs
  10. Smart but left back in Belle’s class. She failed a year therefore she repeating grade. She is half Xhosa and half white-Afrikaans. Wouter the trucker is her father as he is the one who raped her mother.

  11. Busi 21yrs
  12. Lolo’s half sister. Lesbian. Contracted HIV through sexual intercourse with Lover / girlfriend via sex toys. Xhosa.

  13. Thandi (Lolo’s mother) 49yrs
  14. Pre-AIDS sex worker became a domestic worker when she meets the father of her eldest daughter.

  15. DJ Akes (Achmat) 20yrs
  16. entrepreneur (house clearance), button-kop (mandrax). Flirts occasionally with Belle but is very dedicated to his Girl, has never cheated on her… He is a DJ on the side AKA DJ Akes.

  17. Busi’s Father - Dlamini 52yrs
  18. A taxi driver friend to Patrice. Concerned about the dog poo situation in the world. Blames every bad thing on the poo that is not picked up around the city/country.

  19. Counsellor - TS Elliot 31yrs
  20. He is a homosexual, and still living a lifestyle without sexual encounters.

  21. Doctor Patel 39yrs
  22. She is a medical doctor, a homeopath, and still continues to practice traditional medicine.

  23. Wouter 50yrs (Dead for Series)
  24. White Afrikaner. At support group with bad girl sister. He contracted the virus through unprotected sex with sex workers. He has wife and kids.

  25. Marionette (Wouter wife) 44yrs
  26. Most valuable alcoholic (m.v.a.) has been drinking for about 15 years.

  27. Wouter’s son - Andre 11yrs
  28. Wouter’s daughter – Brittney 6yrs
  29. Edric (Wouter’s twin) 50yrs
  30. The decent twin of Wouter and a supervisor at a beer factory.

  31. Charnette (Edric’s wife) 44yrs
  32. Twin to Marionette and married to Edric and she is a anorexic health food nut.

  33. Edric’s son - Wouter 6yrs
  34. Edric’s daughter – Karien 11yrs
  35. Sex Worker - Detective
  36. Who trucker deals with (is an undercover cop).

  37. Superior – A. H. Radcliffe
  38. Jimbo 1 -
  39. Jimbo 2 -
  40. Jody (Busi’s Ex-Girlfriend)

    Patrice’s Band members:

  42. Violinist (Blind) –
  43. Accordinist (Blind) -
  44. Bassist –
  45. Drummer –

We brought in additional writers for the production of the first season of the radio serial. Our main focus in this phase of the Radio Drama Workshop is to find ways of sustaining the series. To this end, it is most important we find funding, sustain the writing, and begin to rotate task responsibility. The new task configuration reads like this:

Director: Wanda Mxosana

Director: Zaki Ibrahim

Music Director: Ade Ed Camngca

Graphic Designer: Marlon Burgess

Tech Director: Shaheen Ariefdien

Engineer: Ade Ed Camngca / Nicholas Thandeki / Marilyn Barrows

Sound Designer: Tandisizwe Mahlutshana

Stage Manager: Bronwyn Van Graan

Executive Producer: Oko Theo Camngca

Associate Producer: Thato Motjolopane

Facilitator: Anthony Sloan

Publicist: Ronald Heemskerk

Development Director: Coslyn Schippers / Bronwyn Van Graan

Writers: Wanda Mxosana / Tandisizwe Mahlutshana / Michael Abrahams

Ndumiso Kasi / Marilyn Barrows / Siyabonga Leon / Xolani Madlinomo

Nicholas Thandeki / Ade Ed Camngca / Oko Theo Camngca

Zaki Ibrahim / Melisizwe Lukhulwana / Bronwyn Van Graan / Anthony Sloan

Our immediate goal was to write and record enough material so that we can complete our first season (Monday, February 2nd to May). Between February and June we must write enough material to record the second season (July to November). Every year thereafter would include:

We came up with a way of coding the different scenes that first indicates the Season, then the Episode and finally the Act (scene). The code looks like this:







The second season will look like this:







Then we would move scene titles around to fit the format and post the intended order for all to see and agree or alter the order.


Introduction to Poo Guy


Marionette babysits


Business owner confronts Patrice


(Karien and Andre play house)


By the middle of January we also standardized the writing format using a Verdana 12 Font:

Act Writing Format

Act title in bold

Act participants


Character Name


Character Name


Character Name


Character Name


Character Name


Character Name


Character Name


Character Name




Length of Act:

Musical suggestion:

Writer’s name/typist initials


Here is a sampling of the type of scenes and scenarios we are working on for this first season:

  1. Achmat, Coco and thug
  2. Belle and Sizwe talk alone
  3. Busi talks to Ex-girlfriend (Jody), Barman
  4. Business owner confronts Patrice
  5. Introduction to Poo Guy
  6. (Karien and Andre play house)
  7. Marionette babysits
  8. Matthews’ Impotence
  9. Mr. Matthews and the Traditional Healer
  10. Shop owner and Pops Matthews plot
  11. Patrice tells Aunt Tilly about Jimbos
  12. Pops and Coco
  13. Pops hires Jimbos
  14. Band plays and Sizwe’s poem
  15. Lolo and Achmat break up at the lake
  16. Lolo tells Belle her father is Wouter
  17. T. S. Elliot and Busi discuss Wouter’s death
  18. Marionette and priest
  19. Belle asks Patrice for his band to attend the funeral
  20. Charnette, Marionette and Anita before the funeral.
  21. DJ Akes gives Lolo the bracelet
  22. Neighbour visits Aunt Tilly
  23. Edric speaks at funeral
  24. Busi at funeral
  25. Marionette comes up to the alter drunk
  26. Marionette spots bracelet on Busi
  27. Sex worker and superior

Our mid-range goal is to produce a live radio drama experience for Cape Town on December 1st of this year – 2004. This would mean we would broadcast live in front of a live audience in real time over BUSH Radio with a 30 to 45 minute broadcast.

We also would want to start the weekly wrap up and conversation with an authority in the field to begin in the second season. This would also provide direct feedback on topics and issues to be covered.

By January of next year we should begin a third season, starting the process all over again. This would bring another wave of writers to the project.


Simply to find funding to sustain this developing creative venture until the project can support and sustain itself. I believe the series will be able to support itself within 4 to 7 years through marketing efforts coming from a proper merchandising plan.

Bush Radio needs to support this project to the fullest extent possible, in that the project encompasses all that is stated in its’ mission and goals. The project needs a Technical Director to work closely with the Directors and Engineers. And the Bush Radio staff, as well as board of directors, should be taking on many of the speaking roles in the drama. This would give the staff a very helpful therapeutic tool for its own eternal dynamic, and at the same time addresses the issue of paid professional actors. (A listening audience loves to here their favorite air personalities in other radio capacities.) This could also be an opportunity to bring back to Bush Radio people who have gone on to other communications and life choices. Cape Town Bell is a parallel training instrument capable of training and keeping people attached to Bush Radio without demanding commitment that would alter ones career path. This experiment should be carried out to its logical conclusion.

Here are some projections for the next 9 years.


Year 1 (2003-4)

Year 2 (2004-5)

Year 3 (2005-6)

Year 4 (2006-7)

Year 5 (2007-8)

Year 9 (2011-12)

Cape Town Belle – The Film.

This would be possible because by 2008 we would have:


Final Thoughts

Bush Radio is not just a radio station. It is a community within a ideal that uses radio as a nurturing or "Mothering " approach to change lives for the better. NOMMO Radio is the concept I have been developing throughout my years in radio to promote radio drama as a tool to demystify and recruit for the community concept that is community radio.

Cape Town Belle is a child of Bush Radio – the Mother and NOMMO Radio – the Father.

This conceptual child has the potential not only to grow strong and use the wisdom of the community, but to sustain itself and support its Mother – Bush Radio, while providing a proving arena for its Father – NOMMO Radio.

When all is said and done these workshops are really writing workshops that use the medium of radio to first identify and encourage community expression, then develop communication skills, and finally point participants to the potential of prosperity for their live and the communities from which they reside.

All who believe in the human potential of the downtrodden are invited to support this model for the releasing of the magnificence that is within each and every one of us.

And, I thank Bush Radio and the Netherlands Institute for Southern Africa for giving me the opportunity to express my own magnificence through this process.