Theatre in the Park on Thursday showcased the second edition of the fortnightly held play State of the Nation which reflects on the social, political and economic developments of the country.
By Kennedy Nyavaya
A cast under the Rooftop Promotions banner has employed satire as a panacea to not only ease the grimness among Zimbabweans but also drive constructive discussion to correct the political crises that have brought untold suffering in the country.
Thursday saw the comic show taking aim at the ludicrous politicking characterising the First Family. It depicted the influence that the First Lady Grace Mugabe has on President Robert Mugabe’s rule.
Grace has been maneuvering to succeed her 92-old-husband since her elevation to Zanu PF Women’s League boss two years ago. She is believed to be behind the sacking of former vice-president Joice Mujuru and her allies from the ruling party. Although some people in Zanu PF have described Grace as a unifying force within the country, she is believed to be the one calling the shots both in government and the ruling party in what has been described as “bedroom politics”.
Although the First Couple has dismissed this assertion, a star-studded cast consisting of actor/director Davies Guzha, revered comedian Doc Vikela, accomplished poet Chirikure Chirikure, musician Steve “Dhongi” Makoni and actress Chido Kutaga on Thursday gave an insight on the First Family’s “bedroom politics”.
When Makoni strummed the guitar at the beginning of the 30-minute piece echoing the words “munoti afurirwa [they say I have been bribed to speak”], the audience was left perplexed as they would uniformly laugh and completely go silent as if programmed.
Besides him stood Chirikure, who would add on a few poetic lines charged with political content in a rendition that could make waves if freedom of expression was not a gimmick in the country.
By the time Guzha, who plays the character of President Robert Mugabe came on stage with Kutaga, the crowd burst into laughter as they seemingly painted a clear image of the couple’s “bedroom politics” and how the old man is under the control of his wife even on national issues.
Doc Vikela also kept the stage on fire with his fearless caricature of local polity with his main thrust being that Zimbabweans should not wait for external help but rather solve their own problems.
To describe the general politics of the day in Zimbabwe as a total joke could be an understatement and this has helped local and international comedians to easily make fun of the waning state of affairs.
“We believe that the content for State of The Nation must actually come from you, our job is just to make it visual and palatable,” Guzha told the audience after the performance.
Comedy has seemingly become an effective method to ease the pain among the majority of Zimbabweans who are languishing in abject poverty masterminded by a corrupt government.