In Stitches

In a country with 11 national languages, not all are equal. South African comedians are fighting back by standing up for their mother tongues—and healing the wounds of apartheid in the process.



In Stitches follows three trailblazing South African comedians who are bringing their mother tongues to the stage. More than two decades after the fall of apartheid, 11 official languages thrive in South Africa. Despite this, English continues to dominate the comedy scene. Sixty percent of the population cannot understand a word.     

Vernacular comedians Noko Moswete, Luphelo Kodwa, and Zicco Sithole are flipping the script. Addressing the long-ignored South African majority, these artists are decolonizing comedy. Audiences are hooked. Vernac shows buzz with unparalleled energy, somewhere between a rock concert and a sermon. Never before have black South African audiences shared such powerful catharsis, led by magnetic comedians who look and sound like them. If laughter is the best medicine, these artists act as guerrilla medics, using humor to tend to the untreated masses.   

This work isn’t easy. Offstage, these comedians face immense obstacles: media disinterest, family conflicts, sexism, and pressures to succeed in the nation’s fastest city.  

In Stitches - Hannah Rafkin & Meg Robbins


Hannah Rafkin and Meg Robbins are co-directing and co-producing IN STITCHES, their first documentary. They are no strangers to working together, though—after meeting as freshmen in Film 101 and realizing they share a birthday, they soon became best friends and creative partners. Both Hannah and Meg are experienced storytellers, with backgrounds in print, digital, and photo journalism. They graduated from Bowdoin College in 2017 and spent a semester in Cape Town in 2015.

the CREW:

Directed & Produced by Hannah Rafkin & Meg Robbins Associate Producers Pitch Her Productions Edited by Khalid Shamis & Kyle Wallace Original Music by Dumama & Kechou Animations by Kiyomi Taylor Director of Photography Hannah Rafkin Sound Engineer Meg Robbins Audio Mixer Vuyo Rhoda Colorist Regardt Voges Story Consultant Kurt Orderson Production Assistants LeeRoy Moyo & Aphendule Pakade Translators Noma Moshani, Rhandzeka Mawuku, & Gelo Maredi


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