Seasoned Nation Publications Limited (NPL) journalist Suzgo Chitete, who scripted a political satire titled Bwabwalala, has said they intend to take the play to institutions of higher learning and some selected districts but said resource envelope is not adequate.
The play, inspired by the happenings on the political scene between 2019 to date was on Sunday staged at Grand Palace Hotel in Mzuzu.
“We are taking it to Blantyre and some selected districts and some institutions of higher learning. We will set the date for Blantyre probably this week but the biggest challenge for us are resources,” Chitete, who is also part of the cast, said.
He said being a new group; it was not easy for them to find partners.
“We are also looking at theatre friendly venues. Most of the venues in town are not theatre friendly. It is not easy to find an uptown venue with proper stage and appropriate acoustic. At the last two venues, we had to make several adjustments to create a stage worth our production,” Chitete said.
Chitete said they were grateful for the support they received in Mzuzu.
Coming to the performance, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Languages, Cultural and Creative Studies at Mzuzu University Chimwemwe Kamanga said
A satire is supposed to make people aware of themselves and that Bwabwalala comes at an opportune time to let people know that they are ‘thieves’ just waiting for an opportunity.
“If I were to recapture the play, I would not just call it a political satire, I think it goes beyond politics because it touches on religion, tradition and everything that is Malawian life. The bottom line is Malawian life has changed so much that everyone is a thief just waiting for an opportunity,” he said.
Former arts editor Clifton Kawanga, who is Mzuzu University of Malawi Assistant Registrar, said the issues the play is addressing are relevant especially today.
“In fact the different aspects of corruption have been addressed which is an important thing especially now when issues of corruption have dominated the narrative. For instance, a call for ordinary people to play their role in addressing such issues because if anything, they have suffered a lot due to corrupt elements in the society,” Kawanga said.
He said what was more captivating was how the actors went off-script to engage the audience and also address some emerging issues which were not in the original script.
“That kind of adaptation gives the play some credence and the creativity that accompanies such kind of performances. However, some of the scenes can be skipped, in an attempt to address so many issues, the play is long yet the main message can still be delivered in fewer scenes,” Kawanga said.
Writer Ndongolera Mwangupili said Bwabwalala, begins as a simple story about a family that loses its financial pillar and brothers plot to rob their dead brother’s wife of the inheritance.
“But, as you watch, you discover this is beyond just a family. It is a country and about politics. The last scene of “we want change” tells it all. Bwabwalala becomes a true political caricature of Malawi,” he wrote on his Facebook page.