Theatre maker Sisa Makaula challenges infertility myths with ‘Curse of the Womb’

A scene from ‘A Curse of the Womb’. (Image supplied)

  • Fertility Show Africa (FSA) is an event for people on a journey to parenthood. 
  • This year, the event will be the screening of Curse of the Womb, a new play by Sisa Congress V Makaula III.
  • Directed by Fleur de Cap winner Lwanda Sindaphi, the play dispels the idea that infertility is a curse.  

In heteronormative and patriarchal homes, a couple is expected to conceive children. If there is an infertility problem, the blame lies with the women. Curse of the Womb seeks to interrogate the myth that women who cannot conceive are cursed and Makaula hopes it will educate, inform, and break the many years of gender-based violence because of the falsehood. 

How did Curse of the Womb come about? 

I’m originally from the Eastern Cape where the issue of infertility is not talked about but seen as a curse. So as a theatre maker I thought let me find a way that could break the silence so that people can start talking about it and get help. 

Why did you tackle this sensitive subject matter?  

With Curse of the Womb, I hope to educate society and break the violence and rage that many women experience because they are seen as unable to conceive. The reason we wrote the play is because infertility is a foreign topic to most Black families. There is a perception that the problem is always the woman’s fault. There is a reluctance to look at the science as to why a woman is not becoming pregnant. Women are blamed and no consideration is taken that the man may have a fertility issue or that there may be another medical reason she is not conceiving.? 

What has been the reaction from those who have seen the play? 

It was recently staged at the Black Box Theatre in Cape Town and the response was amazing. A lot of people who saw the play were not aware men could suffer from infertility. 

Will you be touring the country so the rest of SA can see the production? 

My dream and hope is that the show can tour and go to other provinces, especially the rural parts of South Africa. For that to happen though I need government and private donors to help financially. If there is anyone or any company out there who can assist, they can contact our project manager Lulekwa Dyasi on 0786854 or via email dlulekwa@gmail.com. 

What is the one key message that you want people to take away from the play?  

That infertility is not a curse.  

Curse of the Womb is performed 80% in English and 20% in IsiXhosa and will be shown on FSA online on Sunday, 10 October 2021 at 14h30. The Fertility Show Africa takes place online on Saturday, October 9 & Sunday, October 10. For more information visit fertilityshowafrica.com

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