Chisiza defiant, SEMO play back on Jan 16

Actor Thlupego Chisiza , son of late theatre maestro Dunduzu Chisiza Jr  who was arrested for performing a play critical of the government, says he is taking the play Semo back to stage on January 16.

Chisiza took to Facebook on Friday to announce that he will stage the play.

Semo is coming back on stage on 16 January. It’s going to be hot,” Chisiza posted the announcement.

Chisiza said the script of Semo —  a satire with revealing resemblance to political and economic crisis  in  present Malawi —  has been passed to Cencorship Board for vetting.Thlupego Chisiza: Semo back on stage January 16

He was arrested and charged for not sending the script to the board and pleaded guilty which earned him a K5,000 fine.

Speaking to Capital FM Straigh Talk on Thursday, Chisiza said he will go ahead to perform the play, declaring that he is a fearless person like his fallen father, Du.

“This production is not talking about Malawi but the issues of Kwayela Kingdom are happening in Malawi,” said Chisiza.

He however conceded that Semo is a political play and critical of Bingu wa Mutharika governmet.

Among other issues, the play is satirising late Robert Chasowa an engenring student at University of Malawi who was murdered by regime agents for his pro-democracy activism.

A member of New Vision Youth Organisation, Chasowa, 25, reportedly dealt with the police until they failed to pay him K10 million (about $59 880) after helping to foil anti-government protests on August 17.

Chisiza says Chasowa co-authored and starred in his Lions Theatre’s ninth play—The Repercussion.

In the new play Semo, a Moses-like leader who saved a historic nation from oppression is set in the increasingly undemocratic Republic of Kwacha which is plagued by learned advisors who praise an increasingly oppressive king to safeguard their positions.

The play ends with a lesser message, “The tragedy of this period is not the loud shout of the bad leaders and praise-singers, but the awful silence of the good who are persistently suffering.”


Chisiza said fear is not in his DNA and that his late father Du Chisiza Jnr advised him during his last days in this world to be fearless character.

“I am strong,” he declared.

He said the words of advise from his late father before departing from earth were: “ Do what you do, don’t fear anybody.”

Chisiza said he wants to keep the spirit of Du Chisiza Jnr alive in the theatre world, ‘as the journey continues’.

“I will continue form where my father left. My father was very unique in his productions,” said the actor.

He said even during the one party dictatorship, Du Chisiza Jnr and his Wakhumbata Ensemble Theatre were performing critical plays against the regime.

Chisiza said dictator Kamuzu Banda knew taht the theatre king was fearless and claimed “ Kamuzu himself feared my father” and made him cabinet minister.

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