Isihumane and Malume

Performed by: Clowns Without Borders South Africa

No director listed

No playwright listed

Clowns Without Borders South Africa

Isihumane and Malume is an interactive clown performance using traditional storytelling and physical theatre to explore themes of HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence. Performed in either isiZulu or isiXhosa, Isihumane and Malume pushes the boundaries, taboos, and social norms about HIV/AIDS, gender, and violence against women through humour and laughter.

A long, long time ago there was a family that lived in a small village. They were very happy together in their little home. The father worked in the fields while the mother was busy at home cleaning and cooking. They had two daughters who were very helpful to their mother. The older ones name was Dema and the last born was Demazana….

When 5 clowns arrive in a school ready to tell a traditional South African story, “Dema and Demazane,” things turn upside down. They get lost in the story and discover that STIs, sugar daddies, gender norms and discrimination, and sexual violence are no laughing matter…

But in the face of all these difficult issues that affect us all so personally, how can we not but find humour in our common existence? As the clowns blunder through the story, climbing on top of and through each other, they discover that we all share common fears, misconceptions, and desires around sex and sexuality.

Isihumane and Malume approaches these issues and more through the power of laughter and play. The performance is provocative, insightful, and, as all Clowns Without Borders productions, disarmingly funny!




40 minutes plus 20 minute Q&A
Recommended Age:
12 years – Adult
Recommended Grade:
Grade 7 – Grade 12
Zulu (first language) / Xhosa (second language)
Curriculum Connection:
Life Orientation/Life Skills
Themes Covered:
Gender roles, HIV-Aids, Sexuality, Tolerance, Violence

Audience Comments

Isihumane and Malume has been performed in the Eastern Cape in High Schools and Secondary Schools near Hamburg. The production includes an interactive workshop and Teacher’s Pack to further explore issues raised through the performance.

A well planned and well passed message out HIV, AIDS and STI in a critical but humorous way. – L D Williams from Mzuxolile S. S. School

The show brought forward issues that are dealt with in L O in an interesting way. – Life Orientation teacher from Amazizi High school

The concept of teaching using humour was evident and good. While we were laughing we learned a lot about STDs ARVs. – Kaulela High School educator

The show was very educational but also amusing and entertaining. We as learners/youth we ignore the reality of HIV and AIDS. So we are grateful that you came.” – Sobantu S. S. School learner

This activity was well presented and is educational to learners, teachers and adults. It was a humorous activity that everybody to laugh and life orientation teachers we found that it would be easy to teach about HIV/AIDS in an interesting way that would make learners feel at ease – B.M Ndlebe- Matomela S.S. School

Thank you very much for bringing this kind of information to help us to understand these issues which burdens us in our communities. – V. Saba - Educator

I have never laughed and cried at the same time before because of fulfilled heart. Thank you for coming. What makes me even more grateful is that you told a story from my childhood and I thought those were long forgotten ways. That is how we learned our values, through stories. The message you brought is needed here. We are dying. Thank you once again. – Elder from Tuwa B