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Giant Match - South Africa

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Isaac Sithole
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Initiated in the context of the 2010 Soccer World Cup, The Giant Match project involved over one hundred South African actors, musicians, dancers, puppeteers, visual artists and craftsmen from various communities in Gauteng as well as artists from Les Grandes Personnes. For over five weeks in Johannesburg, the artists worked on the creation of 30 giant puppets, characters and objects which would fit in a show reflecting the multicultural South Africa. The original idea of this project was based on the successful collaboration between Les Grandes Personnes and the Gauteng-based collective SA G.U.R.U. which gave birth to four giant puppets and two characters in 2008.

The Giant Match is a new and unique show based on Romeo & Juliet; it tells the story of two young lovers, Bogale and Thobile, kept apart by the feud between their two families, the Mkhize and the Majakathata, culminating in an epic and comic football match, before the two parties are reconciled and the couple happily wed.

Between 11 June and 16 July 2010, the giant puppets embarked on a road-trip in South Africa in the context of the 2010 Soccer World Cup. Following this successful tour, the puppets and their crew performed an extract of their show in Kigali, Rwanda.

Thrilled by their touring experience, the artists have decided to continue the adventure and in October 2010 have created their own association The Giant Match Association.

The Giant Match was initiated and supported by the French Institute of South Africa, the Gauteng Provincial Government and Les Grandes Personnes, with further backing from the Embassy of France in South Africa, the Ile-de-France Provincial Government, Culturesfrance, TV5 Monde, the Wits School of Arts and Danone.

Familles à Witts © Hanna Paton


  • Father John © Hannah Paton
  • Matlakala © Hannah Paton
  • Uncle Pitso © Hannah Paton
  • Tsutlenolo © Hannah Paton
  • MAMPINGA Photo Hannah Paton
  • CELL PHONE Photo Hannah Paton
  • RAJESH Photo Hannah Paton
  • CLAIRE Photo Hannah Paton
  • MAMPE Photo Hannah Paton
  • KOKO Photo Hannah Paton
  • MRS EVERYBODY'S FRIEND Photo Hannah Paton
  • TELEVISION Photo Hannah Paton
  • BOITUMELO Photo Hannah Paton
  • CAPTAIN FLASH Photo Hannah Paton
  • BABY - Photo Hannah Paton
  • BOGALE the MAJAKATHATA boy Photo Hannah Paton
  • THOBILE the MKHIZE daughter - Photo Hannah Paton
  • SIHLE Photo Hannah Paton
  • NUANHLA Photo Hannah Paton
  • THULI Photo Hannah Paton
  • NOKUKHANYA Photo Hannah Paton
  • ZOSWA Photo Hannah Paton
  • Mathobile © Hannah Paton
  • KHABAZELA©Hannah Paton
  • MARADEBE Photo Hannah Paton