‘Trial of Jack Mapanje’ play premiers in Lilongwe: A political satire based on true story

Theatre lovers in Lilongwe come Saturday 8:00 pm are expected to converge at Madsoc Theatre as Mbona Arts, a theatrical group, premiers its play titled The Trial of Jack Mapanje, a play that brings alight reflections to Malawians onoppressive rule.

Alick Tembo plays Chola (Jack Mapanje)

Duncan Chirwa from Mbona Arts said  this is a political satire set in a notorious Malawian Prison, mocking the one-party state for what he described as its abuse of power, violation of human rights and other brutalities.

A play by Stephen Ndhlovu, centres around two characters; Chola, a journalist trained in the United States of America and Ndatero, a university lecturer and playwright who have both been fighting for change in their respective professions and are detained at a maximum prison without charge.

Ndatero is actively involved in the fight for change and demands change unlike, Chola who is not in a hurry realizing change cannot be achieved overnight.

“But then it is the inactiveness of the many that preach about change but do nothing about it that bothers him. Throughout the play, the actors grapple with dictatorship, democracy, change, freedom of expression and suppression of opposing voices,” said Chirwa.

He said Mapanje’s story represents numerous stories of all those who were exiled, incarcerated, tortured to death and hanged during the 30 year rule.

According to Chirwa, the play, whose production and tours in the four major cities in Malawi has been funded by Open Society for Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) is a play every Malawian should watch because of its relevance to the political and social daytoday lives of Malawi.

“People are likely to be motivated to watch the play because it is rooted in real life events, using the life of Jack Mapanje as a symbol of suppression of opposing voices and violation of human rights such as freedom of expression and association,” said Chirwa.

He said Malawi has experienced various political machineries like prisons and police paramilitary youth wings amongst others,which have in a way, displayed a colonialists’ type of leadership.

“It is such barbaric and inhumane acts that contributed to the prevalent poor socio-economic development of the country,” he said.

In the play which has only two characters, Alick Tembo plays Chola (Jack Mapanje) while Ndatero is played by Duncan Chirwa.

Early tickets are being sold at K3000 while tickets at the gate will be sold at K4000.

In Zomba, the play will be staged on March 23 before being taken to Blantyre on March 30 while dates for Mzuzu will be communicated soon.

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Hora
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Hora

M. C. P already did own the atrocities by apologizing to the people of Malawi Kamuzu Banda did apologize to the nation on all the bad things he did as a leader and also on the bad things that were done in his name yet without his consent,as at now the MCP leadership is composed of a new crop of people who didn’t take part in the said atrocities, other parties like DPP and UDF still have active members who were once active in MCP participating directly or indirectly in atrocities. It would be fair if these people like N… Read more »

SYMPA
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SYMPA

Umbamva ndiwomwe unkakuvutani inu…..choncho Ku prison mumafuna muzikalandilakoso Salary..

Ife munkatisowetsa mtendere ndi umbamva wanu…..

I hope you have also included za umbavazo mu filimumo

Mwananyanian
Guest
Mwananyanian

This play is timely – just before the elections. It is a must-see; and I hope in future, it would be shown in every secondary school so that the political history of savagery as practiced by Kamuzu and his MCP will be etched in the heads of our young people. To minimize the chances of history repeating itself. Posterity. If I was MCPer, I would make sure I see the play, if only to to ascertain the veracity of the historical savagery of my Party. No more denials. Oh boy: many lives were destroyed in so many unimaginable ways. In… Read more »

FewChildrenPlease
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FewChildrenPlease

Is this a campaign tool? I knew Jack Mapanje personally, and met him may times as he made York his new home. He obviously suffered, as did many that did not agree with government at that time and had different views. That should not have happened. But I also know many many more who were obedient and disciplined and led lives normally, like me. And we prospered without any corruption, we got educated at little cost to our parents and have Kamuzu as our hero for keeping Malawi peaceful and on a sound development path. To be fair since then,… Read more »

nachisale
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nachisale

You are very right. And I wonder which gvt has never tortured innocent citizens in Malawi?. Even at this particular time citizens are being tortured in one way or another. Mukamaloza anzanu mudzidzilozanso.

Patrick Phiri
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Patrick Phiri

I hope MCP will own these atrocities just as it owns the achievement of Dr. Banda

A Concern Citizen
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A Concern Citizen

That’s complete nonses.