Africa Centre for HIV/ AIDS Management
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Community Interaction

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Philo​​​sophy

By playing a creative and active role in nourishing social, political and economic transformation, the Africa Centre believes that academic institutions can make a realistic difference and be instrumental in positive transformation in the world around them. Thus, apart from academic and research programmes, the Centre promotes HIV/Aids community interaction initiatives. The Africa Centre believes that HIV/Aids awareness and prevention messages through community interaction initiatives must be stronger, continuous and more creative – now more than ever. Driven by the Centre’s Director of Educational Theatre and Creative Arts, Professor Jimmie Earl Perry, the Centre’s HIV/Aids community interaction initiatives through its educational theatre interventions have been used with great success amongst farm workers, schools, churches and private concerns.

In addition, the Africa Centre also creates HIV/Aids awareness recognition to unsung heroes through its annual World Aids Day Gala Concerts (held on December 1 each year) and the South African Artists for Aids Awareness Concerts (presented twice a year). These events are created to motivate the elimination of hopelessness, understand the virus, mobilize individuals and communities to be involved and take responsibility for themselves, their families and communities.

In line with its philosophy for its community interaction initiatives to be stronger, continuous and more creative, the Centre developed a fresh approach to HIV/Aids related education programmes through its educational theatre productions, Lucky, the Hero! and Lucky Fish.

Filled with humour and popular music while providing the essential facts about HIV/Aids – especially as research done on farms in the Boland found that HIV/Aids-related knowledge levels were alarmingly low – these theatre models have proven to be powerful intervention vehicles. They create general awareness, increase knowledge about HIV/Aids, promote HIV testing, address safer and responsible sexual and moral behaviour aimed at preventing infection and tackle discrimination and stigma. Feedback after performances shows that audiences are better informed, more motivated to change their behaviour in regards to safer sex measures such as condomizing, being faithful, and treating people with compassion and respect where HIV/Aids is concerned.​

Why Educational Theatre changes Behaviour

The success of these educational theatre productions has to do with the fact that intimidating and taboo subjects are communicated to the audience with humour, and the use of dance and music adds to the entertainment value. The aim is to challenge people to examine their attitudes towards all aspects of HIV/Aids. The Centre believes in giving hope to people living with and affected by HIV/Aids and in encouraging behaviour change through acquired knowledge. This includes eliminating stigma, developing partnerships between social and governmental decision-makers and systematically involving infected and affected communities and individuals. Mother Teresa once said: If you judge people, you have no time to love them.


The Educational Theatre Performers

Most of the actors in the educational theatre company are from the Stellenbosch community. They were auditioned and taught in dramatic performance and theatre skills. Having been trained as peer educators, they are instrumental in promoting positive living, eradicating the stigma that is still associated with HIV/Aids, and most importantly, educating everyone in the prevention of this virus. They firmly believe what the great Mahatma Gandhi said: Where there is love there is life.​

Educational Theatre – Book Today!

Educational Theatre is an influential intervention tool to empower employers and employees alike about successfully managing HIV/AIDS in their workplace, while still providing the essential facts about the disease. Find a synopsis of the Centre’s two educational theatre productions on the Lucky, the Hero! and Lucky Fish page.​

For booking information and a fee schedule or any other queries contact Florance Vermeulen or Burt Davis at:​

Tel: +27 21 808 9467      

Fax: +27 21 883 9243

E-mail: aids2@sun.ac.za or burt@sun.ac.za