Veteran playwright Tafadzwa Muzondo has incorporated theatre, music and dance into one play titled I Will, So You Will Not in an attempt to portray the deep-rooted causes for gender-based violence (GBV) in Zimbabwe.
By Kennedy Nyavaya
Written and directed by Muzondo, the six-member cast play that premiered on Tuesday at Theatre in the Park is set to show at different venues around the country on dates to be announced as part of the 16 Days Against GBV campaign which kicks off on November 25.
The hour-long play portrays society’s contemporary discord on women’s abuse with institutions like the church, community and traditional leaders, among others living in denial of the blight.
In the play, Jokoniya’s (played by Charles Biniweri) several attempts to rape his minor niece threatens to land him behind bars.
With futile attempts to derail the exposé at public gatherings, instant mob justice is meted on him as it also comes to light that he has married off his daughter to an older man for economic benefit.
Jokoniya hides behind uncouth cultural practices to justify his actions but with thought leaders like Sekuru Nyandoro (played by Muzondo) reinforcing that rape has no place in all its forms, justice is set to prevail.
“This is something I took to the women that they have to speak out so that men won’t take advantage of them. So, it’s a woman’s position that I protect so that you will not continue to abuse women and girls,” said Muzondo after the play.
The theme of the 2017 campaign is Together We Can End GBV in Education!
Muzondo said they have used different art forms to relay the message to curb GBV.
“We realised that if we had made it a completely dramatic or text-driven play, it was going to be boring because a lot of plays have been done about women’s rights, so we try also to fuse with some local dances,” he said, adding that different audiences are catered for in the piece of art.
“This is a play that we intend to take out to communities so it is edutainment and before we bring the education component, there has to be the entertainment aspect so that we make it in an interesting way that can captivate the communities.”