NGOMAHURU AT AMAKHOSI
Community Theatre at it's best!
Another community drama that was developed in the BREAKING THE SILENCE project was put on stage.
Ngomahuru Theatre Arts performed the play “A Dance for Peace” on Sunday the 11th of January 2015 at the Amakhosi Cultural Center in Bulawayo. Just when conflict resolution and peace building practitioners are beginning to realize the importance of the arts in creating a platform for positive dialogue, ICAPA has already taken this type of work to another level. As part of then breaking the Silence project, ICAPA took yet another play on the road. “A DANCE FOR PEACE” written and directed by long term Women Filmmakers Of Zimbabwe member, Nyaradzo Charama was performed by Highfields based NGOMAHURU theatre club. The play is based on true accounts of violence collected by ICAPA as the first step in encouraging Zimbabweans to speak out about violence. The play enjoyed the privilege being the first play to be showcased at Amakhosi Cultural Centre in 2015
DANCE FOR PEACE is a daring piece that tackles the subject of tribalism. The cast represents the different tribes of Zimbabwe, the Ndebele, Ndau, Zezuru and Karanga people. The different people all struggle to communicate as they all speak different languages or at least different dialects of the same language. Even though the misunderstandings are hilarious and lend comic relief to the play, they show a sad reality of the Zimbabwean society were language plays a big role in dividing people. Sometimes tute ravelling to a person from a different part of the country is regarded as foreigner that even intertribal marriage is still a difficult subject in the country. The plays shows the different tribes fighting when prompted by an unseen voice one of them sings a song and encourages them to dance. The play then culminates into the Jerusarema dance with even a Ndebele warrior taking part.
The play was well received by the audience at Amakhosi Cultural Centre. Precious Ncube, an actor fluent in both Ndebele and Shona was the star of the evening. Veteran actor memory Kumbota remarked on his seamless transition from one language to the other. He encouraged the young theatre students to explore other languages in their work. Kumbota facilitated a lively discussion after the perfomance.
Having worked on the Breaking the Silence project the past for three years, I have witnessed audiences opening up after watching plays. Suddenly all subjects that have been considered taboo can be discussed. The audience at Amhakosi was no different. It was refreshing to finally hear young Zimbabweans discussing this subject of tribalism in the absence of prejudice. The play was commended for offering art as solution for uniting Zimbabweans. Everyone loves dance and music and if we start attaching these important messages to them then people will start listening.
Breaking The Silence is a project that has broken new ground in Zimbabwe. In addition to producing four plays as part of the project ICAPA has also published a book. All the narratives developed for this project tackle violence in all its different forms and encourage Zimbabwean to break the culture of violence. Amakhosi was part of the board that initially set up the project so it was significant for them to host of the four plays. ICAPA is grateful for the partnership and hopes to do more important work with Amakhosi in the future