Tuku's Pakare Paye hosts 'Narratives from the Dark'

HARARE - Pakare Paye Arts Centre in Norton, the vibrant arts centre established by Zimbabwe’s superstar musician Oliver Mtukudzi plays host to the stirring play Narratives from the Dark, starring visually-impaired actress Edith Masango as a solo act.

The play premiered successfully at Harare’s Theatre in the Park on May 25 this year, and went on to the Charles Austen Theatre in Masvingo in June, where it was well-received.

Now in Norton, a short drive from Harare, the production brings to this part of the country new understanding of the issues, and provides encouragement and hope to people living with disability of any kind.

Written by Special Matarirano and directed by Eunice Tava, Narratives from the Dark is an empowering theatrical stage play which addresses issues of disability and the challenges people facing any form of stigma, prejudice or discrimination based on different factors such as physical appearance and gender.

Masango, who plays the lead role in this solo performance, is visually impaired and the play is her autobiography. Masango lost her eyesight at 20 years of age; in the play she depicts her reality and the challenges she faces as a visually-impaired young woman living in an unaccommodating society.

She presents a window for the ordinary person to step into her shoes by highlighting some of the challenges she faces which the society overlooks. The play is a powerful tool for educating people on the importance of tolerance and acceptance.

In the play, Gwen, a blind lady, confronts stereotyping by society and survival in a struggling economy.

She calls on a robust inner strength to achieve her goals and the million dollar question is: Will she stand the test of time and wills?

Matarirano said “Through the play we seek to change the behaviour, attitudes, creeds and mentality of people living with disabilities in order for them to claim parity and equality within traditional societies that look down upon them”.

Of her performance, Masango says “It is a great experience for me to go out and show others what people living with disabilities can do. I am so grateful for this opportunity to tell the story to the people of Norton and Harare at Pakare Paye.”

Founded and established in 2003 by Mtukudzi, the Pakare Paye Arts Centre is a performance platform for developing and fostering young artistic talent in Zimbabwe, and has seen the growth of several outstanding artists from the local community and beyond, who are now making their way in the local and international music scene.

The centre has also hosted famous artists in Zimbabwe and the world, bringing the big stage to that part of the country, and a rich experience to its artists.

Meanwhile, Nhimbe Trust an arts education organisation and leader in cultural policy research, training and advocacy, and in the promotion and defence of freedom of creative expression.

The Trust lends support to the tour under their programme Women in Theatre and Television, in association with cultural partners Africalia (Belgium), and other partners, proudly links with Pakare Paye Arts Centre to reach audiences in Norton.

Nhimbe Trust established the Bluez Cafe in Bulawayo in May, and Narratives from the Dark will be reaching that stage and Bulawayo audiences soon.

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