A new play on Gukurahundi massacres aptly entitled 1983 stole the show in Gwanda over the weekend at a Youth Arts for Peace Festival sponsored by the National Youth Development Trust.
Thousands of innocent civilians in Matabeleland and the Midlands provinces were massacred in cold blood by the North Korea-trained Fifth Brigade in an operation that lasted for years.
“We believe strongly that the Gukurahundi issue needs to be discussed openly,” said play director Adrien Musa.
Musa expressed concern over some comments by politicians who have said that Gukurahundi was now a “closed chapter” saying those who were affected were in fact seething with rage.
“Through 1983, we are merely capturing how people feel about Gukurahundi and what they are saying,” said the dreadlocked artist.
Narrated by a young lady, 1983 takes the audience back to that dark era that even President Robert Mugabe has referred to as a “moment of madness”.
The young lady in the play looks for her parents when she has grown up, only to discover that she was “a product of rape” during Gukurahundi.
“We have to speak out and then maybe that way we will achieve healing,” he said before attacking the Organ on National Healing and Reconciliation for what he termed its failure “to address Gukurahundi”.
“We believe that they should have taken the views of the people on Gukurahundi,” he said.
The play features a cast of five seasoned actors. Musa said people in Bulawayo would next week have an opportunity to watch the play at Elite 400.