Patient(ly) Waiting

Patient(ly) Waiting

Patient(ly) Waiting is a dance film created in November of 2020 in Durban, South Africa.  The film takes as its provocation the contemporary contexts that a pandemic initiates and amplifies.  Tasked with making a film in response to covid-19 which had forced the world to retreat to their homes, those of us that had homeswe all had nothing else to do but to stop, watch, wait, and listen.  What started as a 21day hard lockdown but would proceed into months where thousands of people would lose jobs, assets and their lives, I had the privilege to take the time to slow my life down completely, to catch my breath and re- “find myself”.   With no employment I had no job to lose.  With a roof over my head and constant supply of food in the fridge, I could afford to slow my life down and contemplate it.  I practised breathing and yoga.  I went in search of my authentic voice. I started a new journal and embraced the break from external obligations to focus on the personal and the internal. 

As life came to what seemed to be a global standstill, I found space to interrogate certain parts of me that I had buried and forgotten about and in that act, I learned new ways of letting go and accepting which brought much needed calm and healing.  This however has not been the experience of most people.  Covid-19 made more evident the heavy inequalities that still exist in South African society.  It continues to highlight the gaps between the have and the have nots, in a time where we all seek a return to ‘normality’, I wonder what is normal and should we not walk away from that towards something that is truly more equitable?

Creative work: Product design (video animation)

Details of work

Title:Patient(ly) Waiting

Description of the artwork: Dance Film 

Author:  Thobile Maphanga

Country: South Africa 

Affiliation:UKZN Masters Candidate, Independent Dance Artist 


Thobile Maphanga is a Durban based dance practitioner, creative collaborator and emerging writer whose current preoccupation is with Black female narratives and how Black women are writing themselves into history in the now.  Through her research, which is theory and practice led, she explores where and how Black women use their voices and where these voices can be found.  Through self-study she journeys to find her authentic voice and learn her true self through processes of questioning and unlearning.  Her research methods include, but are not limited to, sitting in wait, listening and improvisation.  


October 11, 2021


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