Acclaimed theatre actor, playwright and producer, Silvanos Mudzvova has been named among this year’s recipients of the Human Rights Watch award for his play, Protest Revolutionaries.
Report by SimbarasheManhango
The award is given to individuals who would have been targets of political persecution and human rights abuses.
It is given to writers, novelists, poets, and playwrights around the globe whose personal lives and works are disrupted by repressive government policies designed to control free speech and publications.
Protest Revolutionaries is based on imagination of what would happen in Zimbabwe if the masses decided to protest against President Robert Mugabe’s regime.
The award is Mudzvova’s first international recognition.
Mudzvova was last week happy that he had been recognised by an international organisation and hoped the award would change his life.
“This is my first international award coming from a reputable organisation and it makes me joyous,” he said. “It motivates me as a writer to continue writing plays that deal with human rights issues with relevance to the societies across the globe.”
Mudzvova said he was also excited that the play had received commendable reviews from Egyptian theatre companies, who found it easy to relate to.
The play has been translated into Arabic, Dutch and Chinese, a move that has won Mudzvova audiences across the globe.
Previous recipients of the award include journalists, bloggers, musicians and cartoonists from across the world that faced the risk of being jailed and harassed for peacefully expressing their views.
Mudzvova, who was not sure of how much he would be given, plans to use the proceeds to publish his first theatre plays compilation, entitled Protest Revolutionaries and Others.
The award recognises free expression and protection of human rights issues enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
According to the Global Network for Free Expression the Hellman-Hammett award, which Mudzova is set to receive, are given annually to writers around the world who have been targets of political persecution or human rights abuses.
A distinguished selection committee awards the cash grants to honour and assist writers whose work and activities have been suppressed by repressive government policies.
The grants are named for the American playwright Lillian Hellman and her companion, novelist Dashiell Hammett.
Both were both questioned by US congressional committees about their political beliefs and affiliations during the aggressive anti-communist investigations inspired by Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s.