TRIBALISM FIND IT’S WAY TO THE KENYAN THEATRE

Just days after the creative industry led the national in saying a prayer to Unite this country by singing the National Anthem, the worst has happened. Politics of polarization and tribalism has found it’s way into the Kenyan Creative Circle, The Theatre Industry to be Specific.

A play “MHESHIMIWA KIHII” (THE UNCIRCUMCISED HONORABLE): UKAI MUONE URIMU WAO (COME AND WITNESS THEIR STUPIDITY) is set to be staged at the Kenya National Theatre on 11th, 12th and 13th March 2011. Writen by Thiong’o K. and produced by EDUARDO “LAMA” WAIGWA a Kalasha Awards Winning FILMMAKER and Journalist. Mr. Waigwa, a theatre critic with THE PEOPLE DAILY a Newspaper branch of MEDIA MAX LTD. a media group owned by Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta happens to have taken to the saying “a seed does not fall, far away from the tree” by following into his boss’ footsteps.Mr. Kenyatta has of late been in the headlines for rhetoric comments made during an interview with his radio station “Kameme FM” refering to the Prime Minister, Raila Odinga as “Kimondo kihii” (this uncircumcised man).

Get me right here. The idea of VERNACULAR PLAYS is not a bad thing. I have been involved in them for the past six years, acting and production managing LUO COMEDY PLAYS staged at The Kenya National Theater with one coming up for this weekend 4th-6th March. I believe that they are a way of having people enjoy their culture away from their ancestral home as well as a quick way of paying rent, cos the audience is definite.

I also believe that we should use the mediums we have to address issues, not engaged in divisive matters like the cheap politics we have been experiencing in this country. In the luo plays, we have developed a culture of addressing issues, moral issues in a light touch. We develop plays from simple story lines like promiscuity among others. Politics will always make a small percentage, but it will never be an “insulting” platform where tribalism is exhibited. Those who have managed to watch the plays will testify to that.

Surely, where are we heading as the creative industry heading with such plays?

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5 thoughts on “TRIBALISM FIND IT’S WAY TO THE KENYAN THEATRE

  1. Just wondering if you have watched the play yet! I do not subscribe to such terrible acts of “tribalism”. But I honestly cannot condemn it without having watched it first…..just saying!

    • Kate, the play is opening on 11th March. The poster of the play is out and it is being advertised on Kameme FM. The title says alot about the play and owing to the fact the Kememe has been on the news of late over remarks made by Hon. Uhuru Kenyatta, who is the owner, during an interview, it speaks even more volumes than usual.

      The idea of vernacular plays is not bad, but having it go tribal is in itself the biggest mistake we will ever make as the creative industry.

  2. you missed what the play’s title was actually referring to i.e. an immature man rather than an uncircumcised man- it is not the physical but the maturity of the people in question (the rite of passage involved a lot more than just the cutting of the foreskin). I think your judgement of the play before watching it or finding out more about it was too quick.

    http://allafrica.com/stories/201103211312.html for more info.

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