Original Research

Communicating social inclusiveness: Paul Slabolepszy’s Fordsburg’s Finest (1997)

M.A. van Deventer
Literator | Vol 25, No 2 | a257 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v25i2.257 | © 2004 M.A. van Deventer | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 July 2004 | Published: 31 July 2004

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M.A. van Deventer, School of Information and Communication Technology, The Central University of Technology, Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

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Abstract

Paul Slabolepszy is a well-known South African playwright whose socially inclusive plays appeal to broad national and international multi-cultural audiences. His ability to reflect an authentic South African landscape with its stormy political background, diverse cultures and inhabitants, and to evoke empathy for all of his diverse characters within this South African milieu, adds to the dramatic impact of his plays. In his play, Fordsburg’s Finest (1997), Slabolepszy depicts an empowered woman as the focus of his concern. In this play he takes us on a nostalgic journey of recognition, and with sensitivity and insight relates the return of an exile from America to South Africa. A black woman, Thandi, returns to her place of birth to redefine her heritage and roots. I would also like to demonstrate how Slabolepszy combines various degrees of comedy in order to evoke empathy for Thandi, as well as for his white characters. In so doing he is able to foster social inclusiveness in Fordsburg’s Finest. Slabolepszy’s play also ends on a hopeful note, for he suggests that by freeing our souls, there is hope for South Africa’s emergent democracy.

Keywords

Comedy And Social Inclusiveness; Fordsburgs Finest; Paul Slabolepszy

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