Rock to the Core

Rock it to the core : Gloss


Rock it to the core.

Imagine rock stars making music.

But what if we become the instruments?

Rocks can be bricks.

Rocks are women. A woman is a rock.


Igusha which means … in IsiXhosa

Idlagusha which means … in English?


From Xhosa to English not the other way round.


No longer sheep following blindly.

No longer the black sheep in the family.


How messy can one get as igusha, sheep, in the land of the idlagusha, white sheep eaters?


Be igusha (vagina) in the world.

Not a lamb to the slaughter.

Ingcuka eyombethe ufele lwegusha

A wolf wearing a sheep skin.

Siyaphisa ngegusha

We can offer you some meat: sheep meat.


Shock, shake, and shove the status quo of the arts in South Africa.


Even though we are made unable, we are not unable.

We can. A woman can.


Play with words. Play with knives and rocks.

Make music.

Make noise on stage.


About the Author

Mamela Nyamza is a choreographer, dancer, teacher, and activist from Gugulethu, Cape Town, who has performed nationally and internationally and has choreographed autobiographical, political, and social pieces both on her own and in collaboration with other artists. Trained at Zama Dance School under the Royal Academy of Dance, and at Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, many of her works reimagine classical ballet through the perspective of a woman of color. In 2011 Nyamza was honored with the Standard Bank Young Artist Award in Dance and at the 2011 National Arts Festival she performed Isingqala and Amafongkong, a collaborative production with the Adugna Dance Theatre Company from Ethiopia. Her works include Hatched (2008), I Stand Corrected (2012), 19 BORN 76 REBELS (2013, with Faniswa Yisa), and The Last Attitude (2016). Her most recent project is Rock to the Core (2017), an activist performance in which four black women performers confront the lingering whiteness of the South African performing arts industries as wolves in sheep’s clothing.