THE room is extremely dark! A strange, terrifying musical sound fills the air, as a group of actors get on stage to rehearsal ‘Pambazuka.’
Theater fans will soon have the rare opportunity to watch this play presented by talented Rwandans.
‘Pambazuka’, a Swahili word for ‘Come sunshine’ will be performed on December 21, 22, 28 and 29 at the Expo Grounds, Gikondo from 5 pm.
Entrance fee will be Rwf2000 and Rwf5000 for the VIP section. The cast explores evil acts in homes: how parents abuse their own children, child molestation, why children run away from their homes, and what is described in the play as ‘Could the killers of tomorrow, be the victims of yesterday?’
The first scene starts: “When tomorrow comes, I’ll meet hate or love, tears and pain or laughter.”
Lights turn on in a haunted room and Zahabu appears on stage, covering her head with a scarf.
Zahabu (real name, Angel Uwamahoro) is an abused child, whose father started raping her at the age of four and literally made her his second wife.
She is now a teenager and pregnant for her father. While living a life of pain and misery, Zahabu decides to run away from her home and escape her abusive father.
“It feels good to just walk, walk to nowhere because it feels good. I am so excited because I don’t know where I am going; if you have lived in hell, then you know what I am talking about,” says Zahabu as starts running excitedly.
The 20-year-old actress revealed that, as a main character, she has to bring out the play perfectly because she represents very many abused children.
“I’ve to bring out all the emotions, depression, sadness, and anger inside me onto the stage because it’s the reality, and people have to be able to connect the play with the story,” Uwamahoro said.
Jonathan Kubakundimana, 17, plays the character of Safari, a teenager boy who is going through hard times, after watching his mother kill his father and his two siblings.
He urged people experiencing such abuses to speak out, so that the culprits could be brought to justice.
Kubakundimana, who joined Mashirika in 2005, also talked about how the theatre group has improved his life.
“Mashiriki has been really great, and has helped me to grow as an actor and dancer,” he said.
“It has given me great opportunities. I toured the UK and Sweden. I performed at the FESPAD and I’ve also starred in a couple of movies,” he added.
Kubakundimana also lavished praise on Hope Azeda, the founder of Mashirika, describing her as a great director and teacher.