Drama as South African Secondary School Students outrage over rape scene exam question


Students in South Africa were outraged by a question they faced at the national school-leavers’ drama exam which asked students to direct a rape scene.

They were asked to describe how they would get an actor to maximise the horror of the rape of a baby, using a broomstick and loaf of bread as props.

According to the reports, anti-rape activists and the author of the play, Lara Newton, have said the question was “insensitive”.

The official statistics says that South Africa has one of the highest rates of sexual violence in the world.

Newton’s award-winning play Baby Tshepang is based on the actual rape of a 9-month old by her mother’s boyfriend.

However, South Africa’s Education Department has defended the question’s inclusion in the paper.

They commented the situation,

“Nowhere is it expected of the candidate to have to literally describe the actual act of raping a nine-month-old baby.”

According to the statement, the question is aimed at assessing the pupils’ concept of using metaphor as a theatrical technique.

However, it is evident, some students were really disturbed by the question.

One of them said,

“Everyone was in shock that we were asked such a question. It was so gruesome and we were not sure how to answer it,” South Africa’ Times newspaper quotes a Durban pupil as saying.

It was reported that many students interviewed were too embarrassed to repeat what they had written in their answers.

“While drama is all encompassing, we never expected such a question or topic. This is sickening to say the least,” one pupil, who asked not to stay anonymous.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top