11 April 2018 Photo Charl Henning
Nicro approach UFS Drama for crime-prevention play
Dion and Charl with the school group during rehearsals at the Scaena Theatre on the UFS Bloemfontein Campus.

Theatre is one of the many ways used by the National Institute for Crime Prevention and Reintegration of Offenders (Nicro) as medium to educate our youth. Nicro approached Prof Nico Luwes, Head of the Department of Drama and Theatre Arts at the University of the Free State (UFS), to assist with a crime-prevention play project.  

Prof Luwes then knocked on the door of Drama lecturer, Dion van Niekerk, and master’s student Charl Henning.

Nicro is a non-profitable organisation with the purpose to create awareness among learners about different societal issues such as crime, substance abuse, etc. 

“They have this leadership programme within the organisation for youth who have not fallen into a life of crime. They are known as the ambassadors,” said Van Niekerk. 

 Play address societal issues 
“We did two plays; the text of the plays were existing text written by Prof Luwes. The text wasn’t about crime prevention, but rather about HIV and other societal issues; however, we improvised by making use of the children to guide us.”  

They are the ones who are confronted with these issues on a daily basis. “You see their leadership quality grow and how they can work together in a team. It was also a way to build their self-confidence in a fun way,” said Henning. Not only did it improve their self-confidence, but it also improved their interaction with learners from other schools. 

The play will be performed at schools in Bloemfontein.  The project is conducted at four local schools, namely Kopanong Secondary School, Moemedi Secondary School, Hodisa Technical School, and Louis Botha Technical High School.

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