PIC: Dr. Kelvin Chikonzo presenting strategies for transformative theatre at the TISU.COM workshop at Zimbabwe Hall in Highfield
By Kundai Marunya
Hot on the heels of a successful Germany tour, NAMA award-wining anti-xenophobia play Burn Makwerekwere Burn will be staged at the International Day of Peace commemoration to be held on 21 September at Zimbabwe Hall, Highfields.
The play will be part of an array of art including dance and poetry in an event organized EDZAI ISU Theatre Arts Project for the day to be commemorated under the theme: Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All. The event will part of the Theatre Inspired Social Unity for Community Organisation and Mobilisation (TISU.COM) supported by Culture Fund in partnership with SIDA and DANIDA.
Burn Makwerekwere Burn is a tale of two young Zimbabweans, one Shona and one Ndebele, running away from home discover the harsh realities of the rainbow nation when South Africa erupts into xenophobic violence. Finding shelter in the oddest of places, they are forced to examine their situation and reflect on their predicament as they try and journey to safety – wherever that maybe.
The two are forced to deal with their own tribalistic and xenophobic tendencies as representatives of Zimbabwe’s two major tribes. “Burn Mukwerekwere Burn offers a shrewd window into the soul of the rainbow nation and at the same time lays bare the harsh realities that force them to cross the border into South Africa legally or illegally,” said Edza Isu founder Tafadzwa Muzondo.
The play was first performed at HIFA 2010 and has toured Zimbabwe extensively being performed at festivals, community centers and universities leading up to the NAMA award for Outstanding Theatrical Production. It garnered another nomination for Outstanding Theatre Actor for Michael Kudakwashe who starred in the play.
Other International Peace Day performances will come from award winning local Mbizo Chirasha (fresh from Zambia) and the award winning dance group Zvido Zvevanhu Arts Ensemble spiced up by acoustic music from local artists. Afterwards there will be post performance discussions facilitated by a peace expert.
Meanwhile, TISU.COM will be bringing award winning and internationally acclaimed theatre plays to Zimbabwe Hall for the benefit of surrounding communities every last Friday of the month starting peace commemorations running until the World Theatre Day. Each professional play will be complimented by a community theatre piece followed by post performance discussions, spiced up by guest poetry, dance and/or music appearances.
“We have already identified the plays to showcase and we have trained seven community groups in transformative theatre so that they incorporate some of the strategies in their work as community development communicators,” said Muzondo. The venue design will be a visual impression of the project by award winning visual artist Masimba Hwati.
Muzondo said, “Our mission with TISU.COM is to establish an enterprising platform for community enlightenment, engagement, empowerment, employment and development using theatre as a rallying point in building a proactive broad community of women and young people who take leadership of their challenges and ownership of their development.”
International Day of Peace Program:
|1000hrs – 1100hrs||Dance and/or Accoustic Music as guests arrive from:
– Zvido Zvevanhu
|1100hrs – 1200hrs||Performance of professional play
– Burn Mukwerekere Burn, a play on xenophobic attacks in South Africa and peace in Zimbabwe
|1200hrs – 1300hrs||Post-performance Discussions in relation to the International Day of Peace with panelists from Heal Zimbabwe Trust and / or Zimbabwe Peace Project and EDZAI ISU incorporating relevant invited organisations when particular questions or issues arise.
|1330hrs – 1400hrs||Performance of community play on peace by Zvido Zvevanhu Arts Ensemble
|1400hrs – 1430hrs||Discussion
|14.30hrs – 1600hrs||Music, poetry as guests interact, visit relevant support services or information desks by expert organisations in issues related to the monthly theme and relax.