Baya's controversial play premiers in Gweru

GWERU - Super Patriots and Morons, an award-winning political satire theatrical play, by controversial and prolific Zimbabwean playwright, Raisedon Baya premiers at Midlands State University (MSU) as part of the Film and Theatre department’s educational component.

Co-written by Leonard Matsa, the controversial play was first suspended in 2004 by the country’s censorship board during Harare International Festival of Arts (Hifa) following a failure to produce performing certificate, an authorising letter from the authoritative board.

The play’s script is extracted from his book, Tomorrow’s People and other plays, a four plays anthology which is a Zimbabwean high school set book for literature, and currently used in universities as a core drama text.

The performance which swept through Baya’s four plays in the book, namely The Moment, Madmen and Fools, Super Patriots and Morons and Tomorrow’s People, proved that Baya is among the living and celebrated playwrights in the country whose work counts among the country’s crème dela crème.

Speaking to the Daily News, Baya an internationally-acclaimed and award-winning playwright said the move by the university to teach from his volume is encouraging, citing that at any given time it is uplifting for a writer to have other people reading from his work.

About Tomorrow’s People and other plays from which the plays were extracted Baya said: “The book comprise plays that identify with issues in Zimbabwe and points to what happened between years of 2000 to 2010,” said the Bulawayo-based playwright.

In the book, the famed playwright laments of liberation for writers and writes in the author’s notes: “I believe writers must write. I believe in the total freedom of the writer. My experiences have taught me that no subject should be taboo to a writer.

“In a country that has seen public space of communication shrink to unimaginable levels theatre has remained in the forefront of providing space for writers, actors and even the public to debate issues of national importance.”

The master piece was later adapted into a film. - Alfred Tembo

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