Nanzikambe in London shows of ‘And crocodiles are Hungry at night’

Malawi theatrical chameleons, Nanzikambe Arts, will start their performances of an adaptation of Professor Jack Mapanje’s detention memoir And Crocodiles are Hungry at Night in London, UK from Tuesday July 31.

The play will be staged at the African Centre – Post Code 38 King Street, London, Greater London WC2E 8JT – from Wednesday  from 8PM.

The group will show the play, adapted and directed by UK-based Kate Stafford, everyday from 8PM up until August 18 at the same venue at a fee of £10 to £12.

Stafford of Bilimankhwe Arts of UK,  said the African Centre is the  venue  ] where leading African artists, academics, politicians and writers have long come to meet and exchange ideas about freedom, justice, and the vision of a liberated continent.

The scene in the play

The play, which runs for 105 minutes, is a true story which is an adaptation of award-winning poet Jack Mapanje’s prison memoir of the same name.

Mapanje was imprisoned without charge at Mikuyu prison in Malawi in 1987 by dictator late Kamuzu Banda for three-and-a-half years. By then he was a poet and lecturer at the University of Malawi.

His incarceration generated huge public outcry and protests from leaders and organisations around the world, including Amnesty International.

Mapanje was not told why he was detained without trial.

The play depicts the way Kamuzu used his para-military wing Young Pioneers to persecute his opponents and how many who were detained without trial meant to die in gallows, survived and alerted the international community on human rights abuses in Malawi.

Living with the threat of death by a ‘car accident’ or being thrown into the crocodile-infested Shire River, Mapanje and his fellow prisoners of conscience survived the dreadful conditions with a spirit of optimism and humanity, which is both uplifting and extraordinary.

And Crocodiles Are Hungry At Night memoir was published last year by Ayebia Clarke publishing, and launched at an event hosted by Amnesty International.

Angella Ching'amba one of the actresses
Actress Maureen Mathala
Poet and former prisoner of conscience Jack Mapanje

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Jack Mapanje’s memoir: And Crocodiles Are Hungry At Night