BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO
RENOWNED actress Charmaine Mujeri broke down on stage during the recent premiere of a new play that illustrates the struggles that people living with albinism still experience in society at Theatre in the Park.
The play, titled Ruvajena, presents Taka Chideu, played by David Bvumbe, who is forbidden by his parents to marry the love of his life, Ruvajena Dzvairo (Jennifer Madiriza) because she lives with albinism.
Taka’s rich parents are also against his idea to opt for a music degree instead of a masters’ in business administration.
Mujeri, who plays Peggy (Ruvajena’s mother), told NewsDay Life & Style that the emotional nature of the play made her shed tears on stage.
“The writer is just amazing. It’s the way she wrote the play which made tears fall intuitively. It was a very emotional journey, doing rehearsals for this
play. I cried several times,” she said.
Founding director of Afrikera Arts Trust, Marie-Laure Edom, said the play made her cry as well.
“You made me cry, Peggy. You really nailed it. I am glad that you will take the play on tour,” she said.
However, Edzai Isu Theatre director Tafadzwa Muzondo said he did not like how the play continues to perpetuate typecasts on people who live with albinism.
“I have no problem with actors and the style. Should we perpetuate stereotypes on stage? The topic you’re addressing has stereotypes. I was perfectly connected
with emotions, but can’t we have victors and not victims in films? You got into the popular way of thinking,” he said.
“This is a very touching story throughout, but I was lost when you presented the father being swayed by US$100 000. I feel you did too little, too late.”
Playwright Virginia Jekanyika said she conceived Ruvajena while doing a research for an albinism campaign, where she realised there was still a lot of
prejudice against people living with albinism.
“My first crush was on someone who lives with albinism. I also had an opportunity to work on an albinism campaign and have worked with them. I wanted to tell a
story that makes audiences get into the shoes of the people who live with albinism,” she said.
Madiriza, a model and Miss Albinism Zimbabwe Trust employee who appeared on stage for the first time, revelled in her acting experience.