KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka
A NATIONAL Indaba, perhaps long overdue, has been called for today in Kabwe by the National Theatre Arts Association of Zambia (NATAAZ), an affiliate of the National Arts Council of Zambia (NAC).
The one-day theatre revitalisation indaba to be held at Gonde Lodge in Kabwe is open to theatre stakeholders, theatre arts bodies, theatre enthusiasts, theatre artistes and theatre critiques.
The indaba stemmed from a WhatsApp group created initially by Mufulira-based theatre artiste and former NATAAZ publicity secretary John Kapesa. The group, known as Talking Zambian Theatre, has now grown to include faces that may have long been forgotten in the theatre circles but whose contribution in the revitalisation of local theatre is seen as vital.
Zimbabwe-based theatre practitioner Stephen Chifunyise perhaps best sums up how critical the group is being seen.
“This platform is ideal for theatre practitioners to intimate issues that could be tabled at the theatre Indaba,” Chifunyise, a founding member of the Zambia National Theatre Arts Association (ZANTAA), said.
“I, for example, would like to propose that a discussion on how to turn theatre activity in a theatre industry. Do current theatre festivals contribute to the growing of a viable theatre industry? Can the current theatre festivals become tourism products?”
According to a tentative programme seen by the Weekend Mail, at the indaba, Professor Dickson Mwanza, who was the first general secretary of NATAAZ, is expected to give a keynote address titled “Theatre development in Zambia now, and for the future – what are the issues?.
The indaba will also look at known issues in Zambia’s theatre development, particularly opportunities and constraints; management of theatre; resourcing of theatre development in Zambia; theatre regulation; national theatre programmes; and emerging issues and next steps for consideration.
The list of the attendees seen by the Weekend Mail has Benne Banda (Mafumu Kollective), Bob Nkosha (Ideas Incorporated), Boyd Chibale (NATAAZ), Sydney Siafwa (NATAAZ), Agnes Nyendwa (NAC), Clement Muyasini (NATAAZ), Edward Lange (former NATAAZ chairman), Kalenga Musonda (NKAS), Dominic Sitamu (NATAAZ), Alick Chileshe (NATAAZ), Henry BJ Phiri (NATAAZ), Mirriam Zulu (NAPSA), Patrick Samwimbila (NAC chairman), Abdon Yezi (Yezi Arts), Ireen Ngoma (ZAFODAMUS), Kazani Eleutros (Kabwe), Shadreck Banda (Kabwe) and Richard Mwanza (ZAPOTA).
Others are Mwape Mumbi, Frederick Mulando (Bantu Roots), Jimmy Lungu (NKAS), Pamela Hojane (NKAS), Edwin Kakuntula (NAPASA Theatre), Chanda Mulenga (NAPSA Theatre), Chris Musonda (Nchelenge), Isaac Kalumba (Lusaka Playhouse), Maison Banda (Lusaka Playhouse), Boyd Nyirenda (Africa Direction), Westone Bowa, John Kapesa (Mufulira Arts Council), David Kalunga (Mufulira Arts Council), Lee Kabongo (Thapeza), Gift Muneka (NATAAZ), Patrick Kaoma (Ndola) and Richard Likumba (NKAS).
KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka