Sizwe Nyika Nation a Zimbabwean play Written by Getrude Vimbayi Munhamo – Pfumayaramba through the mentorship of Professor Yvette Hutchson, Professor Silvija Jestrovic and Professor Anna Harpin of Warwick University in the United Kingdom, the play reading debuts on the 8th of December 2022.
By Mangaliso Lawrence Kabulika
Under the wings of the African Women Playwrights Network (AWPN), the play examines the depth of emotional trauma birthed from pain and hurt witnessed or exhibited through history and scars from the past.
“It questions the power of forgiveness and humanity. After violations, pain, trauma and grief what’s next?” says Getrude.
” This play asks what we should remember and forget and the cost of doing either.”Yvette
The play also asks how individuals engage disvowed memories, not only as a nation but as individuals and communities struggling with the aftermath of genocide or inter- ethnic group violence as is significant in the global north and south said Yvette.
“Being able to be human again and to be aligned with self even after the most dispeakable”Getrude
Munhamo who is also the Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Theatre Association, emphasised that in this play she sought to bring progressive dialogue in the liberation of mental effects that Zimbabwe has gone through since time immemorial.
Speaking on the mentoring process, Yvette said the process was to first give Getrude time and space to read, write and think about what she wanted to explore, how and with whom.
“She then worked with students at Warwick University and she will offer a staged reading which will later on be filmed and posted on the Playwrights Laboratory cite.”
“As a Zimbabwean Playwright, it’s such an honour to represent African female Playwrights under the AWPN, amongst women who speak life and challenging issues through the pen”.Getrude
The role of women in the Playwrights world in Zimbabwe and on a global scale is not given the support it deserves, an issue the Ministry and National Arts Council should look into.
” There is a lot of training that we need as Zimbabwean writers, exposure and platforms to use our voices through writing” said Munhamo.
“Internationally, other female writers are supported and encouraged physically and also financially and I plead with our Ministry and National Arts Council to create initiatives for the growth of female Playwrights in Zimbabwe.”
Yvette added that the representation of African women and their ideas in the world of playwrights globally is poor.
“Although women in Africa were engaged in prolific amount of new and innovative Playwrights , African Theatre: Contemporary Women (2015), they are largely unheard of and certainly not being engaged with by scholars, publishers or those setting the curricula.”
The AWPN set up in 2015 seeks to increase African Women visibility and connectivity both within and beyond their specific regions, so that they could access other programmes, opportunities nationally and internationally by enabling all participants to create an online profile with their name, location, profession which was searchable by country, city and name.