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?