Renowned actor Bon Kalindo, popularly known as Winiko, was part of the cast for Kwathu Drama Group’s 2014 production Kulira kwa Ana which was re-staged at Blantyre Cultural Centre (BCC) on Sunday.
The group’s director, Eric Mabedi, better known as Jakobo, who wrote the play, had indicated ahead of the performance that Winiko would not be part of the cast as he was engaged with other things. He also said that Evans Mbewe, popularly known as Che Jali, would not make it. Mbewe has not been feeling well for some time and, according to his cousin Sam Tanaka, his condition is improving.
Winiko and Mbewe were part of the cast in 2014 alongside actors such as Linda Chatha, Emma Chikwembeya, who was not available on Sunday, Charles Mphoka, Mabedi and Enifa Chiwaya.
The play on Sunday came barely a day after Kwathu performed at Gymkhana Club on Saturday.
The performance at BCC, which is the group’s den, failed to attract a huge audience.
Despite being produced in 2014, the play is still relevant with a mature message as it hits at men who impregnate women and then deny responsibility only to come back to claim patronage over children when they are grown-ups. The group decided to make the production fresh when they breathed in some of the recent issues happening in the country including elections.
With their traditional style of using simple props and costume, the vernacular theatre group impressed on the afternoon, when they engaged the audience in different scenes until the climax.
Mbewe’s cousin Sam Tanaka described the play as educative.
“It’s a good play. I am watching the production for the first time but I have loved it. Of course, there are some gaps probably because Kwathu had new faces which need more plays to get the experience,” Tanaka said.
He said he would have loved to see Mbewe on stage but he is in hospital and that he would soon be taken to Kachere Rehabilitation Centre in Blantyre.
Mabedi described their two assignments over the weekend as a success.
“We are not worried with the audience. We got a good response. Today, we also got feedback that a lot of people would want us to do some old plays. For instance, we got a request from one man that we should bring Njala Bwana which was staged in the 1980s but that means we have to meet Willie Zingani,” Mabedi said.
He then revealed that they would be premiering a new production on September 22 2019 titled Ana Akumpanda.
“Sometimes we delay to bring plays to the stage because we have to take them to Censorship Board for approval,” he said.
Other actors who starred in the play include Moses Mandebvu, Neria Chosalawa, Mussa Penoh, Ben Maluwasa, Ferguson Magona and Allison Mpunga.