Prison injustice play comes to Intwasa

AFTER a successful tour of the United States of America and South Africa, the theatre production, Zandezi, will return to Bulawayo at Intwasa Extra on December 29 at the Bulawayo Theatre.

The festival is set for December 27 to 30 under the theme - ‘reconnect’. The event is an extension of Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo which did not happen this year in September due to lack of funding.

Zandezi — a story that interrogates the injustices around the justice systems mainly focused on prison services. Devised and performed by two exceptional actors, Cadrick (Khe Khe) Msongelwa and Ronald Sigeca, the play was directed by Lloyd Nyikadzino and script consultant Leonard Matsa.

“It’s the festive season with a Zandezi experience. For the fifth time in Bulawayo, we are back to our home city after their USA and SA performances in 2022.

“We are wrapping up the year with a performance of Zandezi at Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo. It’s a family show, child friendly. Let's fill up the Bulawayo theatre,” Msongelwa told Standard Style.

He revealed that the name Zandezi aptly means prison and called eZandi in street lingo.

“The inspiration to create such a show mainly came from an article that we saw which talked about having more crimes in prisons than in the outside world. We thought why not explore that route and see what we come up with.

“With the research, we came across a lot of issues that had to do with justice for the inmates. So we took that route of trying to send the message of justice to the inmates.

“There are a lot of people who are in prison for the crimes that they did not commit, but because they failed to bribe their way out there, there is no innocence for the poor, rich criminals are out there still committing crimes, “ he said.

Msongelwa said they also want to encourage the outside community to welcome those inmates that are released into the community; they need support in changing their lives.

Meanwhile Sigeca said bringing the production back home feels Like a blessing.

“It’s more like reuniting with your family after a long time, we have a lot to offer and we can't wait to give them this treat. It’s always exciting to perform at Bulawayo Theatre because it is where we started.

“Our experience in the US was just amazing, it was really motivating to have our audiences relating to the show and also encouraging us to take the show all over America because they felt our subject spoke to exactly what is happening in the States,” he said.

During their USA trip, the production team visited Pelican Bay Prison in California.

“We visited Pelican Bay Prison in California, that’s one of the toughest prisons in California. We saw how inmates want to connect with the outside world, we saw how they feel neglected by the world and their relatives. Some of them were wrongly accused and were caught up in the moment, let’s spread love and care to them,” he added.

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