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Voice from Ensemble Theatre

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Blantyre-based youthful theatrical group – Ensemble Travelling Theatre, came out strong on Sunday premiering their second production Thorns in the Heart at The Block in Blantyre.

The production, which is set in Malawi and written and directed by Chicco Makina, focuses mainly on the abductions and killings of people living with albinism.

In the play, Mr Mbwalo gets murdered by a group of thugs that came to abduct her daughter Masozi, a young woman living with albinism.

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And few weeks later, the attackers come again and this time they succeed in abducting Masozi.

The plot worked because Billy, a member of the group of thugs, got married to Masozi.

But something came up in that Sean Bob, a son of Bob – a leader of the thugs, gets arrested and later confesses in court that he murdered Mbwalo.

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Despite receiving threats from Bob, Justice Chimtolo, who presides over the case, convicts Sean.

And meanwhile, Masozi is about to be killed and sold when it later transpires that Billy and Belita, who was also part of the gang members were police officers working under cover.

The climax ends with Billy trying to convince Masozi to forgive him for subjecting her to torture.

The cast later came in with candles where they bemoaned the abductions and killings of people living with albinism, saying: “We are all one.”

Apart from Makina, who also stars in the play, the others are Denzel Mathala, Bright Seyani, Mc Noel Nakoma, Elizabeth Nkhoma, Silivia Khololo and Olivia Mkandawire.

The group has been in hibernation since it released its first production Broken Covenant in 2013.

Despite staying out of the picture for long, the group received an impressive support with many of the people buying tickets in advance.

Some people had to brave the rains to watch the production.

“The story in this production is carrying a real life situation which is aimed at educating the society. There are a lot of misconceptions out there which have brought about the abductions and killings of people living with albinism,” Makina said.

He said as a youthful group, they have a lot to offer and that they are looking at taking the play to other areas.

Aujinger Munkhondia, who watched the production, said he was impressed with the group’s performance although he was quick to point out that there was room for improvement.

“Being a premiere, it is a good production, they need some improvements here and there but you have to understand that many of them are young but with time they will surely improve,” Munkhondia said.

The production has a powerful message although in some scenes, the group could have done better on research to come up with more information to tighten the production.

There was, however, good use of sound and costume which is always a problem.

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