HomeNewsMuzondo’s Demolishing Democracy a riveting play

Muzondo’s Demolishing Democracy a riveting play


I JUST realised on Wednesday afternoon that outside the Harare International Festival of the Arts (Hifa), Tafadzwa Muzondo’s play Demolishing Democracy was my first local theatre production to watch this year.


How saddening it is that we are already on the brink of this year.

Wasted it appears.

And it was a marvel to watch as this beautiful piece of art premiered in the heart of Highfield at the Zimbabwe Hall.

The play Demolishing Democracy was written and directed by Tafadzwa Muzondo, a talented and enthusiastic fellow who has a special way of driving his point home on stage.

Interestingly, this particular play appeared not to make much use of the usually concealed political satire that he often thrives on, but is rather confrontational.

Talk of simple solutions to simple problems; the play articulates issues dogging a people that has become so docile due to poverty and oppression. It envisages a crooked system that thrives on devouring those it claims to represent with neither the courts nor the government taking seriously issues that are affecting its people.

Their rights are infringed with impunity. In light of the recent demolitions in Chitungwiza and other areas that remain under threat, it was an apt story that took all its ingredients of cataloguing a disaster from the famous Operation Murambatsvina/Restore Order that left thousands homeless while millions were lost through property in the demolitions.

The play also takes a dig at Human Rights watchdogs who appear to just bark and do nothing at the end of the day as evidenced by the caricature of Anna Tibaijuka, then executive director of the United Nations Human Settlements program in the play.

The venue, Zimbabwe Hall worked wonders for Muzondo. It managed to reconnect him with his roots and sow a seed into the community that has often regarded arts issues unimportant. The state of the hall is rather uninspiring, but that the community has embraced the vision of a set of artistes and allowed them to use the space is commendable. It could do with a number of touch ups, but the main structure remains intact.

The audience turned out in huge numbers as compared to the usual theatre audiences in the country.

It was a job well done by Muzondo’s mobilisation team as it managed to achieve this magnanimous figure that was close to 100 people; by far too many compared to the normal handfuls that follow theatre in the country.

Comprising men and women of various ages, the play managed to communicate with the people most of whom conceded it portrayed the very issues they are grappling with. It acted as some sort of education on how they are supposed to handle purchases of residential stands putting into cognisance of the country’s laws and of course being wary of politicians’ campaign strategy for them to turn their backs on them.

Muzondo said: “Overally I was impressed by the turn out from the community and fellow artistes.

I also want to thank my sponsors Zimbabwe Peace Project for partnering us and sponsoring the premiere. We are actually looking forward to touring other parts of the city and the country at large as alluded to by those that watched the play.”

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