The blood suckers saga, which has engulfed the country, has not eluded the creative industry. First to jump on the train is Kwathu Drama Group, which on Saturday tackled the issue in their old play titled Alibe Pabwino staged at the Blantyre Cultural Centre (BCC).
The story revolves around a couple that parts ways after the woman (Enifa Chiwaya) later feels that the man (Eric Mabedi) is not fit to be her husband looking at his financial muscle.
But the woman’s decision ends up being too quick and she regrets it when she finds herself swimming in difficulties while her former hubby leads a good life.
Efforts to go back to her former husband fail as she discovers that he (Mabedi) is already engaged to another woman.
But the blood suckers’ issue takes centre stage.
The issue was raised at length in a scene where actor and comedian Bon Kalindo, popularly known as Winiko, described it as an act of ‘satanism’.
A Member of Parliament in Mulanje South, one of the districts where the blood suckers’ saga is hot, Kalindo explains what happens when blood suckers, named ‘Anamapopa’ in vernacular, come to ‘suck blood.’
“Actually, what happens is that when you try to catch these ‘blood suckers, ‘they quickly turn into a dog or an owl,” Kalindo said in one of the scenes.
He added that when they (blood suckers) are invading the house, light floods into it, which makes one to fall unconscious.
In the scene, another actor argues that what Kalindo is saying is not true.
The actors in the scene all say the issue is big and that it needs to be given urgent attention but Chiwaya seems not to believe that whatever is being said is true.
“Yes it is true. It’s not about science or education but Satanism. Those who don’t believe it and are arguing are those who are educated and have academic papers,” Kalindo says in the scene.
The blood suckers’ issue has, among other eventualities, forced the United Nations (UN) to temporarily suspend its operations in the two districts of Mulanje and Phalombe over the killing of strangers suspected to be blood suckers in recent weeks.
Residents of the two districts are living in fear and being forced to sleep outside their homes in groups.
And over the weekend, prayers for Mulanje were organised, with religious leaders describing the ‘attacks’ as spiritual, hence the need for God’s intervention.
Kalindo said it was important for artists to tackle the issue as they also have a responsibility.
“It’s a hot issue, people are talking about it and we also felt we should tackle it,” he said.
Mabedi said Alibe Pabwino is an old play but they thought of revisiting it and stage it during Blantyre Arts Festival as it has a relevant message.
Meanwhile, Kwathu Drama Group has announced that they will launch their third play this year. It is titled Chibwana.
The play will be launched on Mothers’ Day in Mulanje, Zomba and Blantyre.
“The first production this year was Chaulere, which we launched in January, followed by Mulhakho na Mphatizano launched during Independence Day celebrations and now we have Chibwana,” Mabedi said.
The group continues to rely heavily on Mabedi and one of the longest serving members Charles Mphoka in coming up with productions.
The three productions have been written by Mabedi and Mphoka.
According to the synopsis, Chibwana is a play that focuses on the issue of marriage, zooming in on cases where couples play around with marriage whenever one goes to work in the field or for studies.
Some of the actors starring in the play are Moses Mandebvu, Kalindo, Mphoka, Emma Chikwembeya, Nellie Chosalawa and Evance Mbewe.
The play will first be staged at Mulanje View Motel on Saturday before invading Zomba Gymkhana Club on Sunday and then BCC on Monday.
“This, being Mothers’ Day, is a special present for mothers and we will be having traditional dances and Kasambwe Kukana Kuba Band,” Mabedi said.
He said plans are underway to hold productions in the Northern Region and hailed MultiChoice Malawi for support.
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