Entertainment Theatre

Demolishing Democracy echoes in Zimbabwe

KELVIN KACHINGWE, Lusaka
DEMOLISHING Democracy, which premiered at the Lusaka Playhouse last week, has made headlines in Zimbabwe, where it was first staged.
The play was originally written by Zimbabwean playwright Tafadzwa Muzondo but was adapted for the Zambian audience by Sam Kasankha.
Yezi-Arts commissioned the play for Natutambe Theatre.
In an article in the NewsDay titled ‘Muzondo play triggers encore in Lusaka’, Kennedy Nyavaya says the play, which will rerun on Tuesday at the Lusaka Playhouse, was warmly welcomed.
The article says the play, directed by Isaac Kalumba, precisely displays a vivid account of the calamity that inhabitants of ‘illegal houses’ face when their homes are destroyed by authorities.
In the interview with NewsDay, Muzondo, who was elated by the great reception of the play, said the piece sought to rouse productive discussion.
It was therefore important for Zambians as they were faced with similar problems in their day to day lives.
“The play is vital in stimulating dialogue on the issue of informal [illegal] settlements in both countries and how governments need to work with communities and all stakeholders in solving the problem, not just bulldozing people’s shelter leaving them homeless,” Muzondo is quoted in the article as saying.
“Zambians relate very well with the play and I remember my conversation with Abdon Yezi (Zambian producer) while I was still writing the play where he immediately noted that Zambians had the same problem.”
Muzondo said the development was a milestone not only for him, but for local theatre as a whole as he was inspired to write a play that had impact on a regional scale.
“I have taken plays abroad with a local cast a couple of times before, but this is the second time that my play is being performed by a foreign cast. I feel inspired that I am making a difference not only at home, but in the region,” he said.
Demolishing Democracy is going to have a double billing (Zambian and Zimbabwean version) at Intwasa Arts Festival in September and will show at Hwange Little Theatre, University of Zimbabwe and local communities this year.
Muzondo has been in the theatre sector for nearly 15 years getting the Best Producer 2005, Best Director and Best Production 2014 for the Yezi Arts-organised April International Theatre Festival as well as the outstanding theatre award for National Arts Merit Awards in his home country.

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