Kwathu Drama Group veteran actress Esther King Malipa on Sunday returned to the stage after close to over five years and starred in the play Tilolelane at Blantyre Cultural Centre (BCC).
Malipa has not featured for Kwathu since she got married and moved to Lilongwe where she is now based.
“Kwathu Drama Group is my family so to be back and perform today after a long time feels good. I didn’t have a chance to be part of the performances over the years because of family commitments but now I am free,” Malipa said.
She said she was looking forward to being part of more productions.
Malipa is among veteran actresses, who have been part of Kwathu for years alongside other names such as Linda Chatha, Enifer Chiwaya and Emma Chikwembeya.
The group’s director Eric Mabedi, better known as Jakobo, said they were excited to have Malipa in the cast for Tilolelane.
“We wanted to have experienced actors and actresses in this production and so we decided to invite Esther Malipa. She has been rehearsing with us for some time and today, she did well. We also had to wait for Emma Chikwembeya, who was also out in South Africa but we had to wait for her as well,” Mabedi said.
He said they brought Tilolelane because of the current political situation.
“This play was done a long time ago but its message is very rich and mature. In the play, we are talking about love, that we should love one another regardless of the differences be it political or religion. We are one and are Malawians,” he said.
The play delves into a story of a christian family that finds itself in a fix when their daughter Veronica—played by Malipa—is impregnated by Yusuf who subscribes to Muslim faith, Moses Mandebvu, who is to another woman Linda Chatha.
But several challenges come up that threaten the relationship of the two with the father played by Mabedi disowning her daughter.
It however, had to take another daughter (Emma Chikwembeya), who plays a Catholic nun to convince her father to accept Veronica’s relationship with Yusuf. The climax sees them reconcile.
The group’s performance however, failed to attract a huge audience with Blantyre also hosting other events close to the venue such as a football match between Be Forward Wanderers and Silvers at Kamuzu Stadium.
There was also another event at Robin’s Park, just a few kilometres from BCC where accapella group Spiritual Brothers celebrated its 10th anniversary.
“Everything went on well and we are not worried by the turnout as there were several events in town. I am just happy that those who attended enjoyed the play,” Mabedi said.
The play came barely a month after Kwathu also staged another old piece Kulira kwa Ana.
Mabedi said having staged two old plays, they would now be premiering a new play Ana Akumpanda and that they were targeting Mother’s Day.
Other actors, who starred in the play include Mussa Penoh, Charles Mphoka and Ferguson Magona.