BY SHARON SIBINDI
LOCAL author John Mabuyane has teamed up with actor and film director Elton Sibanda to quench theatre enthusiasts’ thirst with Dick Print, a new production to be launched on May 1 at the Bulawayo Theatre.
Dick Print is a stage play that explores toxic masculinity in relation to sexuality, among other themes.
Speaking to NewsDay Life & Style, Sibanda said men should speak freely about their problems so that they can be assisted.
“We live in a patriarchal society that has led many men to commit suicide. Men are taught to bottle up issues under the common belief of saying ‘indoda ayikhali’, ‘indoda ifela ngaphakathi’, ‘inyembezi zendoda ziwela esifubeni’ (a man does not cry out loud; when a man is in pain he cries in silence; tears of a man fall on his chest.)
“These cultural beliefs are suffocating men and they die in pain silently and this is not right, we have to address it. Silence is death. Umntwana ongakhaliyo ufela embelekweni, (a child who doesn’t seek help dies in silence), so it’s high time men knew that it is OK to speak up.”
Sibanda said there was need to have more plays and films that focus on male issues.
“There have been high suicide rates by men as they succumb to a lot of societal pressure, but such hardships are not shared as they are expected to toughen up and be strong. Most of them end up taking the easy way out,” he said.
“We need to push male stories as much as we push feminist movements. Both genders have problems.”
Mabuyane said they were focusing on taking the play to both national and international stages so that society hears the war cry of men who are silently struggling against societal expectations.
Apart from Scars/Amanxeba, Mabuyane has written, directed and produced another short film on femicide — War Cry — which was inspired by true events which happened in Bulawayo and South African when women were protesting against femicide.