Lina Ubani (Antidote to Rot)
10 and 24 Jan. The production uses traditional stories, dances and music. It is written by Penina Muhando Mlama one of Tanzania’s top Kiswahili playwrights who brings together several traditional and contemporary styles. She heads the department of theatre arts at Dar es Salaam university.
Chuano (The Contest)
17 Jan and 31 Jan. This play is the Swahili version of the The Contest by Ugandan playwright Mukotani Rugyendo, which was first staged in Germany in 1980. Rugyendo whose best-known play is The Barbed Wire and other Plays looks at post-colonial problems using traditional pre-colonial art forms in an attempt to appeal to a mass audience.
17, 21 Jan and 7 Feb. Kinjeketile performed by the Lumumba Theatre. The book Kinjeketile by Ebrahim Hussein is the about the Maji Maji rebellion against German colonisation of East Africa from 1905-1907. It is one of the earliest cases of anti-colonial resistance in Africa and after initial success it was eventually brutally suppressed, partly by executions and partly by a scorched earth policy, which then led to a famine in what is now southern Tanzania. Some 100,000 people were killed, including Kinjeketile the leader of the initial uprisings, who was executed in 1905.
The Lumumba Theatre is a group of musicians, dancers, actors and choreographers first brought together in 1997 at Dar es Salaam’s Lumumba primary school by its director Dyuto Komba. It concentrated at first on traditional dance but now it covers contemporary dance, theatre, script writing and story telling. It is still based at the school and uses its expertise as a catalyst for change among the young. It has performed all over Africa and also in Denmark, Germany, Poland and India.
The performances of the three plays are sponsored by the European Union and the Parapanda Theatre Lab Trust, one of the main training institutions in Tanzania for youth and community theatre.