New play tackles controversial land issue

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A NEW play that tackles Zimbabwe’s controversial land issue will finally premiere in Bulawayo at the beginning of the new year. 
The Taking, a thought provoking play about land, history and the place of folklores premieres at Bulawayo Theatre on 2 January.
It was penned by award-winning playwright, Raisedon Baya and veteran theatre actor and producer, Memory Kumbota.
The play was initially set to make its debut in November at the Intwasa Extra but was postponed after one of the main actors had another engagement outside the country. 
It features experienced actors such as Zenzo Nyathi, Gift Chakuvinga, Aleck Zulu, Elton Sibanda and Musa Sibanda.
The land – a national treasure and heritage – has been a source of conflict in the country dating back to the days before colonisation and it will be interesting to see how the writers project the historical narrative.
Using vivid imagery and clever storytelling the play questions the role and place of storytellers and their stories in present day Zimbabwe.
The Taking, according to the writers, takes no sides but seeks to remind us of where we come from and who we are as Zimbabweans.
In this new play a storyteller is arrested for performing folktales without a censorship or clearance certificate from relevant authorities.
During the same week a young farm labourer/maid is also arrested on suspicion of murdering the old white farmer who had adopted her while she was young. Their stories connect as the play gathers momentum.
“Theatre is an institution that deals with memory. With The Taking the idea is to take our audiences back to those chaotic years and make them remember,” said the playwright Raisedon Baya.
“Theatre is a bank where we should keep our very important national narratives and then, once in a while, take them out for everyone to remember who we are and where we come from.
“The Taking is also universal in that it is about survival and identity.”Advertisement