Studio 263 actor Ben “Shereni” Sibenge will enhance his artistic expertise through a play titled Dr Manzuma and the Vipers that will be staged at Amakhosi Elite 400 in Bulawayo on Saturday evening.
Sibenge, who wrote and directed the play will also feature on stage as Dr Manzuma.
In the play, Dr Manzuma is approached by Godfrey (Anthony Tongani) and his wife Agatha (Victoria Madzikura) who have a serious problem in their family.
Godfrey and Agatha’s three sons Jose, Denver and Faro isolate themselves from the family and refuse to seek employment.
With their hearts burning to see their family live like their successful neighbours, the parents agree that Dr Manzuma will play the tricks and bring normalcy.
Dr Manzuma concludes that the problem can only be solved after Godfrey’s death. He makes sure Godfrey dies.
Events that follow and the way the children behave after their father’s death make a chilling revelation.
“This neatly woven comedy seeks without trying to preach; to ask how adequately we are prepared to avoid the mayhem that engulfs Godfrey’s family when we die.
It makes us see what can happen when we leave this planet,” said Amakhosi Elite 400 director Cont Mhlanga.
On the same day at 3pm at Amakhosi Cultural Centre, Sibenge will give a talk to the Amakhosi Arts Academy students on “The Challenges Facing the Theater Sector in Zimbabwe” and his proposals on how to unlock the value of this sector.
This talk is open to interested theatre practitioners and members of the public. All are welcome to attend and interact with Sibenke. Josh Nyaphimbi of the Bulawayo Arts Forum (Baf) will moderate.”
Sibenge a veteran comedian, director, playwright and actor is locally and internationally known for his dramatic achievements and his persistent encouragement of young theater artists.
His career spans over four decades. He founded the Mashonaland Art Drama and Cultural Association (Madaca) in 1978 and The People’s Company in 1982.
He has also written and directed several stage and television plays that include Mwanangu Mhekiya, Afa Afa Asara Asara, Chidembo Chanhuhwa, and won several awards for his play My Uncle Grey Bhonzo (published by Longman Zimbabwe).
He has taken part in the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland and also attended workshops in Germany and Kenya on directing plays for all age groups. Currently, he is the director and founder of the Midnight Shift Arts Project (MSAP).