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.
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 day–to–day 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.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :