By Iminza Keboge
Published November 8, 2016
An annual festival of theatre returns to Kampala as lovers of music, art and movies gather in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi to celebrate creativity.
The organisers of the 3rd Kampala International Theatre Festival shall be held at Ndere Cultural Centre in Kampala, Uganda, November 23-27, 2016, say they shall serve what they refer to as “An array of the world’s most exciting theatre productions to be presented along with celebrated playwrights, actors, directors, costume and stage designers.”
Deborah Asiimwe of Sundance Institute and Faisal Kiwewa of Bayimba Cultural Foundation who curate the festival say their aim is “to showcase plays from emerging and established African playwrights that are topical and focus on gaining a diverse audience.
Among the plays to be staged at the event whose full festival pass costs USh30000 and USh1000 per student are The Most Wretched of the Earth by William Chewe Musonda of Zambia; Kawuna, You’re It! by Coutinho Kemiyondo and Blood by Judith Lucy Adong both of Uganda; Mourning Sun by Antu Yacob of Ethiopia/USA; and Allos: The Story of Carlos Bulosan that is Written and Performed by Giovanni Ortega of USA.
How about telling you a little bit about the plays mentioned here?
While Allos: The Story of Carlos Bulosan is about a US American hero many do not know about and history text books do not discuss Kawuna, You’re It! interweaves three stories surrounding HIV and the stigma it presents.
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Adong’s Blood tackles the story of the now all familiar issue of white police officers shooting young black men in US America ‘for the crime of looking suspicious’.
Mourning Sun, by Yacob, is about an adolescent girl forced into marriage and the dangers she faces.
Zambian William Musonda’s The Most Wretched of the Earth tackles the flip side of Africa’s rural-urban migration: lack of social amenities like water reticulation systems, proper drainages and road infrastructure, corruption, poverty, unemployment, high crime levels . . . .
As the curtains come down in Kampala, the lights on the catwalk will come live in Dar es Salaam as the 9th annual Swahili Fashion Week platform for fashion and accessory designers from Swahili speaking countries and beyond showcase their talent, market their creativity and network with their clientele at the National Museum in Dar December 2-4, 2016.
The action shall then move to Nairobi where the 11th Lola Kenya Screen movie and media festival for children and youth in eastern Africa is set to run December 5-10, 2016.
The event is set to showcase movies in all kinds of formats, categories and genres. The highlight of the event is exhibiting some of the best possible films for children, youth and family. The six-day long programme includes film exhibition and competition, story-telling, theatre, music, dance, art exhibition and media literacy and talent exposition seminars and workshops.
Meanwhile, artist Ruth Nyakundi is till November 26, 2016 expressing her thoughts, dreams, and emotions in various mediums in an exhibition titled ‘Culture and Values’ at Nairobi National Museum. She explores traditional virtues that are deeply rooted in traditional Africa.
The next major gathering shall be at Stone Town in Zanzibar during Sauti za Busara Music Festival, February 9-12, 2017.