Letemani Theatre back with ‘Foolish Papaya’
After concocting plays such as Second Pregnancy (2017), A Quarter to My Death (2018) and Love Potion (2021), Peter Machilika has not sat on his laurels.
This is because, two years after his last production, the Mzuzu University alumnus is back to the stage, this time with Foolish Papaya, a play that can best be described as revolutionary— or is it rebellious?
The Letemani Theatre Director and Mzuzu University Theatre Heights Ensemble (Muthe) alumnus and trustee is, surely, up to something in this new theatrical piece, which is more political than social.
Machilika indicates that the play is premised on Africa’s experiences, most of which are unpalatable.
“The fate of Africa is expressed through the personification of Africa as a family that has suffered in history under the yoke of the Western Family. The sons and daughters of the African family were taken into slavery in America and Europe for 310 years.
“When slavery was abolished, their land was shared by [members of] the Western family and [they] were ruled by [the] same until most of these countries got independence. After gaining independence, African countries seem to be shouldered by a new form of colonisation,” he said.
In the play, which will be staged at Maranatha Girls High School in Blantyre tomorrow afternoon, one African family mistakenly thinks that their only daughter, Abiti Nyasa, played by Angela Ngolombe, is pregnant.
They base their belief on the mere sight of a vomiting Abiti Nyasa.
And, knowing that the girl is a minor, the Western family, whose son Mzungu, played by Daniel Chirwa, is purportedly responsible for the pregnancy, offers $1 million to the African family to keep their mouths shut.
But, then, all hell breaks loose when it is discovered that Abiti Nyasa is not pregnant.
Cornered, the girl believes that the unification of Africa can be the only way out.
The play is, surely, riddled with suspense and may make for a good political piece.
In the play, Machilika plays the role of Papa Africa, with Mada Kalua playing that of Mama Africa.
Mr West is Gilbert Maombe, Mr IMF happens to be Aubrey Singanyama, with the cap of Mrs West fitting Monica Kanyowa’s head.
“Our play is set in the African house in the present,” Machilika said
Apart from having Mzuni alumni, Letemani Theatre is also home to University of Malawi students.