Kgomotso Ratsie tells “HerStory”

“Bontle” theatre production chronicles issues of gender identity


Women from all walks of life will, on 1-7 August, convene at Soweto Theatre in South Africa for the inaugural HerStory International Theatre Festival. Local actress Kgomotso Ratsie will be joining in the festivities to showcase her piece titled, ‘Bontle’.

Written and performed by Ratsie, Bontle chronicles issues of gender identity and allows viewers to explore the rich diversity of gender and the heartaches that comes with being either in the closet or coming out.

The play is inspired by a true story of Mpho, a widow and a mother to Dimpho. Mpho lived comfortably for 15 years in marriage, a marriage she sacrificed a lot for and she is mostly grateful that it gave her the greatest gift of her life, her daughter. After the passing of her husband, Mpho had to face her awakening. She has for long suppressed something inside her that can’t be contained anymore. She had to come face to face with something she herself has to get on the journey of understanding and exploring.

“This is such a great opportunity because the festival will attract a large scope of audience and connections will be taking place. The festival will touch base on subjects pervasive in women’s circles through master classes, workshops and shows. I am thrilled to be a part of this program,” Ratsie told Time Out in an interview.

Helmed by award-winning creative director, Napo Masheane, who is based in Sweden, HerStory International Theatre Festival aims to be a vessel to tell women’s personal stories. HerStory International Festival re-moulds women stories as interpreted by women, for women and led by women, the platform also shares their creativity post COVID-19 around the theme of rising from trauma.

The festival will feature scholars, poets, playwrights, actresses, actors, and directors and curators from SADC countries, Canada, Britain, UK, Cameroon just to name a few.