Theatre fanatics are set to be treated to two days of fun, as Savanna Trust will be hosting different community based theatre groups who will perform their plays at the Bulawayo Theatre on 9 and 10 February.
Under their ACCEL ZW project, Savanna Trust took close to seven months in training four community theatre groups and over 80 artistes in playmaking and performance.
These groups came from marginalised communities including Hwange, Gwanda Chimanimani, with the last one coming from the host city Bulawayo.
They received intense training as the projects were facilitated by renowned award-winning theatre practitioners such as Memory Kumbota, Daniel Maposa, Teddy Mangwa and the youthful Ronald Sigeca and Cadrick Msongelwa of the Zandezi fame.
Sebastian Muza from Savanna Trust said ACCEL ZW is a nine-month project targeted at enhancing the artistes’ creative capabilities, entrepreneur skills, and leadership qualities of emerging theatre practitioners in Zimbabwe.
“We mainly targeted community theatre groups from marginalised communities and those led by women and young people.
Through the training, the groups and artistes have gained relevant artistic skills and knowledge that increases their ability to produce and perform high quality and professional theatre play.
“Apart from the skills they acquired, the project will continue to support the groups to tour various theatre venues and festivals in Zimbabwe showcasing their productions.
“We also assisted them with a training in the utilisation of digital platforms to market, distribute and monetise their artistic work, facilitated by industry and digital giants Plot Mhako of Earground and Benjamin Nyandoro.
“The project’s success is a result of the generous support from the Culture Fund of Zimbabwe and The European Delegation to Zimbabwe,” said Muza.
Three plays will be displayed at the Bulawayo Theatre.
On 9 February at 6pm a play titled Chiyindisyo Chikalikali will take to the stage.
It is a play that highlights the plight of a father who’s determined, by all means necessary, to prevent her daughter from travelling to the United States under a soccer scholarship.
What is not known by everyone is that the father sacrificed her daughter to a ritualist in order to make his church one of the most prominent churches in the land. These intricacies manifest in a very stylistic and artistic form of music, dance and physical theatre.
The inspiration behind the play is to encourage young people out there to never give up on their dreams no matter the obstacles they face in life.
On 10 February two plays will be presented, True Lies at 2pm and Isiphelo Sohambo at 6pm.
True Lies — a play with thematic concerns including identity, loyalty and betrayal, was written by Memory Kumbota, directed by Adrian Musa and performed by Kukhanyakwenkosi Mkhandla, Ryan Ndlovu and Bathabile Nyathi.
The style of the play is driven by elements of physical movements, ritual theatre, poetry, song and percussion.
In the play, Nomazulu (main character) seeks the truth of what really happened to her father after he mysteriously disappeared years ago.
In finding her father she resorts to all sorts of strategies including the spiritual realm.
Isiphetho Sohambo will close the festivities.
The country and the world has seen a rise in people especially men committing suicide due to different mental health issues and this is what Isiphetho Sohambo interrogates.
The title is inspired by the desire to expose some of the issues that lead men to their “last mile of the way” hence Isiphetho Sohambo.
One of the objectives of the play is to encourage men, especially those who are in positions of influence who find it difficult to open up about issues depressing them, to find ways to open up.
The play hopes that the lessons from it will help in the reduction of suicide cases or other life mistakes such as crimes committed by men going through difficult times in their lives.
The play was written and directed by Mzingaye Ngwabi and was performed by Leslie Masuku and Kumbilani Ncube.