The Taking recites land invasions at Hifa


A BULAWAYO-BASED creative group thrilled many theatre lovers by telling Zimbabwe’s land invasion story through a play called The Taking at the ongoing Harare International Festival of Arts (Hifa).

By Shadreck Maririmba

The well-knitted play written by Raisedon Baya and directed by Memory Kumbota wowed the audiences.

“This play has summarised it all brother, I now understand the whole land invasion,” said one elderly man soon after the play.
The stellar performance which was fused with music, dance and story-telling oracles was perfectly executed. The satirical story chronicles brutal attacks on white farmers by war veterans during the 2001 land invasion and the current economic meltdown in Zimbabwe.

Speaking after the play at the Standard Theatre, Baya said: “The idea of the play is to tell the story of how the land invasion was done and show the bad and good side of the land invasion in Zimbabwe”

Theatre lovers of different tribes, races and ethnic origins packed the venue to watch the play which some labelled political.

“These guys have nailed it, I wish some politicians where here to watch this play,” said another theatre lover.

Talented actors — Zenzo Nyati, Gift Chakuvinga, Aleck Zulu, Elton Sibanda and Musa Sibanda — gave a top-drawer performance.

Baya said: “This is the first time we have staged this play during Hifa. It’s a historical play. As you have seen we tried to demystify all censorship policies our country has towards freedom of speech and association. We are planning to travel across the country showing it to many after the festival.”

Baya said the play was inspired by how the black Zimbabweans took their land from the whites and the benefits so far of the land invasions.

Hifa is currently underway. It started on April 28 and runs until May 2.