KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka
NATIONAL Theatre Arts Association of Zambia (NATAAZ) chairman Boyd Kaimbi Chibale has congratulated the Nkana Kitwe Arts Society (NKAS) and Mufulira Arts Council (MAC) for the facelift their respective facilities have received from Mopani Copper Mines.
The facelift has been fuelled by a project involving a play titled Safe Mining, which was initiated and supported by Mopani and is being shown to miners and contractors. The play, featuring a number of actors picked after auditions, is aimed at improving and sustaining safe mining practices.
Chibale also praised Mopani for its realisation that theatre is an active tool for effective information dissemination and education in an entertaining manner.
He says having been associated with Mopani when he worked for the National Union of Miners and Allied Workers (NUMAW), he realised that the company aims at keeping high standards of professionalism at every stage of operations.
Chibale believes that for Mopani to have picked on theatre as an avenue for information dissemination is not mean but professional and real.
â€œThis is an example other players in the corporate world should emulate. Investment in the promotion of an informed human resource base is worthy. Mopani has scored a first by using theatre to spread messages of safe mining,â€ he says.
â€œMay I also commend Barney Kanjela and all the actors in Safe Mining for the job well-done. But this should not make NKAS and MAC relax. This is a wake-up call indicating that there is good will out there.
â€œThere are institutions that still recognise and appreciate theatre. But this good can easily be lost in a twinkle of an eye. Governance in theatre clubs has of late been a matter of huge concern. Time is now to realise the huge potential theatre has in shaping a firm foundation for the prosperity of Zambia.â€
At NKAS and MAC, Mopani has attended to the lights, curtains (electronic) from Australia, sound system, air conditioners and seats while toilets have been unblocked and sewer lines connected to main line and tiles fitted.
The support from Mopani towards the two theatre clubs is laudable, but still a far cry from the days of the Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM) when drama was hugely supported and flourished.
But now, many theatre houses and groups are struggling to get support including the over 50-year-old Lusaka Playhouse, which is largely considered as a national theatre house.
KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka