THAT Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) has decided to go for an ambitious project to air local drama series on TV1 is a welcome move as it will promote local talent identification and promote Zambian artists in general.
However, as a keen follower of drama and poetry, I was at a loss of words when I watched the first series of ‘Mtendere’. This is a play whose setting is in Mtendere township, one of the high density compounds in Lusaka where crime is at its highest peak.
The drama depicts a new officer-in-charge transferred from Chawama to go and bring sanity and peace to this compound where a notorious group of young boys and a girl are terrorising residents and so far a man was killed in cold blood. A local watchman witnessed this gruesome murder but is afraid to inform the police for fear of his life.
I wish to commend the author, Eric Kasoma, for coming up with a creative piece, but I’m left wondering if the cast had time to research on their roles.
To begin with, in real sense, it is unruly for any police officer to argue with his superior right in his face. I was left wondering what kind of a policeman tells off his superior without being disciplined. The other officers follow suit by arguing with their boss that they could not go out for operations as the station has no vehicle and the boss remains mute.
Had they carried out a research on how officers behave, such unruly behaviour could not have been depicted. The Ghetto boys are well dressed, alas, they speak English instead of Chinyanja or Bemba, the common languages in Lusaka.
However, credit must go to the journalists as well as the watchman, together with his wife, for such an excellent act exposing their fear upon seeing a knife from one of the killers who is threatening to kill them should they tell the police.
All in all, it is a piece worth watching.