Did you have a happy childhood? Have you ever been into a community where you are surrounded by little, ‘old’, fearful people? If our youth grow up in fear what hope is there for our country? Abductions and kidnappings are now a ‘trend’, would you like to help us make this more difficult for evil people?
One of Amanda Valela’s strongest desires is to give children back their dreams. And now because of Assitej SA and National Lotteries Commission, she can fulfil this promise which she made while engaging, as an aspirant script writer, with a school in the Cape Flats.
When she saw, felt and experienced the fear the children in the gang ridden communities were experiencing she decided, then and there, to find a way to give them their childhood back.
Dreams come true and she was given the opportunity to write a play, courtesy of Assitej SA. which is part of the Assitej global alliance of organisations involved in the promotion of theatre for children and young people.
Dreams don’t come true immediately. They are hampered by the character building experiences you traverse as you go through life.
Amanda had her fair share of character building experiences. This brought her to the profound conclusion that: “no matter whether you think the situation is ‘good’ or ‘bad’, never stop dreaming. The sun is behind every cloud!”
While she was realising her mind-expanding dream of travelling to different countries her father passed away, unexpectedly. She didn’t have the opportunity to say goodbye. It threw her completely off kilter. Amanda wanted to write her story … yet nothing seemed to make sense at that stage of her life which led her to even deeper realisations about the quality of life and how important it is to make your dreams come true.
She went into the depths of her writer’s soul. Three years and four scripts later, she pulled it all together within 2 months. She was totally inspired and rewarded by the experience of working with Nhlanhla Den Mkhwanazi.
Not long after we started developing Dream with Nhandla we started calling him ‘Magic Hands’ because everything he touches turns to gold. He and my co-actors helped to turn the show into ‘gold’ and I will always be grateful for this.” said this plucky young woman.
Dream debuted in Makhanda at the National Arts Festival in 2018. “I was very nervous for a number of reasons. I was baring my soul through a play I had written. I was acting in it which is really walking the talk. There were many shows, one after the other. You have no idea what it is like to get into character as a Mother who has lost a child! Plus, shortly before we left for the festival I was rushed to hospital for an emergency appendectomy so the pain I was portraying was sometimes very real” says Amanda. “When I received the reviews from Critter and Cue, I just broke down and cried in relief and appreciation that my mission had been accomplished.”
Steve Kretzmann from Critter reviewed, “Amanda Valela made good use of the opportunities offered to aspiring scriptwriters by Assitej SA. Dream contains a sprinkling of African magic realism, elements of another world, as the missing girl’s brother embarks on his own inner journey after his mother locks him in his room in a misguided effort to ensure he too, does not disappear.”
Cue’s review stated, ““The structure of Dream and the scene transitions are near flawless. Valela, Ncedani and Palmer do an excellent job of projecting multiple characters through the use of emotional shifts, signifying props and excellent acting that is to be found in this production. The structure of this acting strikes a good balance between the story, and the moments of introspection between the characters and the audience.”
Amanda Valela says, “To create this play was my Dream … and it came true. This is an amazing experience that I will cherish for the rest of my life. I now know that any dream can come true. Let’s give the kids their dreams back!”
Would you like to make the dreams of children come true and save them from a very sad fate? Celebrate Woman’s month and contribute towards the staging of more Dream shows by pressing the Donate Button on https://lunchbox.org.za/share-your-lunchbox/.
The Dream Campaign is one of the many programs we run as an NGO and you can choose your level of contribution and commitment. A donation of R10 will help us reach 1 child, and a R1000 donation can help us reach 1 000 children. Here are some of the ways you can contribute:
- Firstly, please subscribe to our Newsletter so we can keep you up to date on our exciting news.
- We would love to hear your comments and ideas openly or privately via our Facebook
- You can directly deposit your donation into our bank account. Banking details are on our Friend Page, you can also fund a show for R5000 and choose which show you would like us to stage and for which beneficiaries.
- By clicking on Donate you can set up a recurring donation on our GivenGain page. Every little bit helps – R1 = 1 child educated per month.
- You can Contact us to become a Fundraiser for Lunchbox Theatre or for a news about pamphlets and posters that promote the Dream Campaign.