CHAMBO NGâ€™UNI, Kabwe
LAST Saturday, the attention of theatre enthusiasts shifted to Kabwe, where national commemorations of World Theatre Day were taking place.
According to National Theatre Association of Zambia (NATAZ) chairman Boyd Chibale, World Theatre Day is an important annual event globally and locally.
â€œIt is a day that makes us remember the importance of theatre in our country, communities and society, and it makes us reflect on how theatre can contribute to the wellbeing of the world,â€ Mr Chibale said in an interview at Kabwe Civic Centre.
He explained that since the 15th century, theatre has played an important role in the wellbeing of humanity in the areas of development, communication, entertainment and economic stability of nations.
â€œTheatre provides jobs as people in theatre earn a living out of it, therefore contributing to the GDP of the country,â€ he stated.
If theatre is fully exploited, he stressed, it has the potential to contribute to job creation and poverty reduction.
Kabwe was chosen to host the national commemoration because of its centrality and its historical significance as regards to theatre evolution in Zambia.
â€œIf you remember the Broken Hill (Man) story, we have had various historic plays written about Broken Hill,â€ Mr Chibale said. â€œFor us, it was imperative that we bring the commemoration of World Theatre Day to Kabwe.â€
The event drew participants from Lusaka, Central and Copperbelt provinces.
And National Arts Council vice chairman Bright Banda shared that theatre is â€œa mother of all artsâ€, which is why Zambia joined the global community in the celebrations.
â€œWhen you talk about the Russian Revolution, you are talking about theatre. So even here, whatever problems we have, we can overcome them through theatre,â€ Mr Banda said.
World Theatre Day started in Finland when the International Theatre Organisation was formed, and since then, theatre activities have taken centre stage across Europe on March 28.
Mr Banda was emphatic that Zambia needs to appreciate and celebrate theatre to attain international standards in theatre.
â€œIn fact what we would have expected here is that all the community halls should have had activities going on because this is a very important day,â€ he remarked. â€œWe have to change this status quo. We have to understand that theatre is the voice of the people and a revolution starts with theatre.â€
CHAMBO NGâ€™UNI, Kabwe