‘The Chosen One’ comes around

FLASHBACK: NAPSA Theatre Club on stage at Maramba Cultural Village in Livingstone in June last year.

AFTER some break, NAPSA Theatre Club is returning to the Lusaka Playhouse stage next weekend with another Cheela Chilala-written and Sam Kasankha-directed play titled “The Chosen One”.The play’s story is weaved around Zundazonke, a narcissistic king of the nineteenth-century southern African nation of Bantara. Zundazonke rises to the throne because of his exceptional warrior qualities and exploits on the battlefield during an era of brutal ethnic wars.
He also transforms the Bantara from a small insignificant nation into a great nation boasting a powerful military force confident of defending the territory against any invasion by Shaka’s marauding impis.
However, over time, the once-loved king turns into a hated leader because of his greed and self-centredness. Zundazonke’s egoistic trait reaches its peak when he learns that the gombelo, or council of elders, has decided to honour the nation’s founding father, the late Somazala, with the title of Lion of Bantara. A ceremony is to be held to honour Somazala.
However, angry that the dead king has been chosen ahead of him, Zundazonke embarks on a deadly mission to stop the ceremony and instead have himself honoured as the Lion of Bantara.
To achieve this, he has to convince the council of elders as well to overcome stubborn resistance from Chilyamudima, the dreaded and powerful chief priest; and opposition from Uwemi, his uncompromising younger sister.
What follows is a dramatic chain of events characterised by deceit, betrayal, subterfuge, scheming, distrust, murder and unexpected twists and turns.
The question to ask is whether Zundazonke will achieve his goal or indeed will the Bantara nation allow him to have his way?
Veteran actor Sakafunya Chanyika and Isaac Kalumba, who is also co-directing, are acting as Zundazonke while Dominic Sitamu is Malyakumba, an elder and Zundazonke’s trusted aide.
Hamalala Hamalala returns to the stage after a long time as Chilyamudima, chief priest and guardian of the shrine while Kuleka Kumwenda takes the role of Uwemi.

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