Kebab, a play that depicts the sad realities of life in exile, was staged last Friday at the Centre St Paul by the Burundian group Lampyre on invitation of the Institut Français du Rwanda.
Kebab is a story that reflects so many aspects of the challenges faced by young people in Burundi and generally in Africa seeking a better life outside of the continent.
The three credible characters play as young people that left their country (Burundi) for Europe where they expect to realise their dreams: Muco (Christian Elvis Sinzinkayo) is a young man going to pursue a Masters in Audiovisual Sciences while Maddie (Laure Sheilla Inangoma), an aspiring superstar, is joining her long time boyfriend Ncuti (Freddy Sabimbona) to live a fabulous life.
Tragedy and humour both arise at different parts of the play as circumstances change to become worse and deceiving. One of the biggest crises revolves around Maddie being taken into prostitution by her own boyfriend Ncuti to get a better pay than what she earns at the Kebab restaurant where she has been working since her arrival.
In this new occupation, Maddie meets the hopeless Muco striving to become a reputed film producer who proposes to the young girl to produce a “special documentary” about her which in fact is a porn movie. From here, the trio starts a collaboration to produce the movie which results in Maddie getting pregnant and being killed by her two compatriots to resolve the situation.
Kebab is initially a script produced in 2005 in Romania by Gianina Carbunaria and adapted by Burundian actor and stage director Freddy Sabimbona who found the story of the play inspiring and pertinent to the Burundian crisis that started in 2015 and caused thousands of people to seek refuge outside of the country.
“I have realised there were similarities in the story with what is happening in my country and I decided to adapt the play so that anybody may question themselves to know why people choose exile, how do they survive, what are the consequences of this choice and since all these questions are related to ‘Kebab’ we decided to play it for the public,” Sabimbona said.
Lampyre group has also played during the last Ngoma Festival in Kisangani-DRC in August 2016 where they met the same success as in Kigali with ‘Kebab’.