Monday, April 22, 2013
Who Is Afraid Of Shackles of Doom?
A scene from the controversial Butere Girls play.
The Kenyan education system is cr**. If you doubt this just look at the comments on Facebook on any given day. With all the emotions flying around after the elections instead of people venting with their creativity the vast majority choose the easy lazy way of being abusive.
Even our institutions of higher learning always reward students who are best at surfing the web and cutting and pasting, those will always score much higher marks than those who seek to produce a thesis that is completely original. I guess it also has a lot to do with the times we live in where we are all rushing for Chinese copy cat spin offs instead of the original even when the price difference is just a few hundred shillings.
Naturally this education system is what has produced some of the characters in decision making positions today who go round banning plays or stopping their live broadcast. Folks whose idea of national healing is for people to shut up and take what is coming to them. Genuine protest today in Kenya is hate speech at best criminal at worst. We should go ahead and ban all mirrors in Kenya while we are at it because any great play, novel or work of art that will now be quickly banned for the sake of national healing will tend to mirror the Kenyan society today.
Well some lasses from Butere girls school have just opened the window wide and allowed lots of fresh air into the room. The reaction from Kenyans has been instant. Their play “Shackles of Doom” is a runaway hit. Everybody is talking about it and everybody wants to see it. Some Kenyans don’t agree and are livid that anybody would even want to discuss the play because it is against Kikuyus and we want national healing. I really get sick at how idiotic and simplistic most Kenyans are. At this rate we will be a banana republic well into the year 3000 and beyond.
Butere Girls have demonstrated what should be obvious to those who care to study a little history. That the pen will always be mightier than the sword and that creativity will get a message across a lot more effectively than writing abusive comments on social media. The play was “banned” (I am not sure what this means in today’s Kenya) and needed a court order to be performed in Mombasa yesterday at the national school drama festival.
Shackles of Doom is a play that depicts the production of a film in Kanas, an impoverished country with large unexploited oil reserves. The people of Kanas refer to themselves as the True Kanas and they languish in poverty unaware of the riches that flow in the ground beneath their feet.
Lopush who is a True Kana is in search of a bride and his prayers are answered when a delegation from a neighboring country arrives in Kana and offers him a beautiful lady, Wamaitha, to be his wife. The delegation asks for the True Kana’s land as bride price and promises to build them an oil refinery to foster the relationship between the two countries. What Lopush does not know is that his bride is 3 weeks pregnant and Kimani, who claims to be her guardian, is the father.
The oil refinery is constructed and during the hiring process, none of the the True Kanas clinch administrative positions. Kimani is appointed the CEO of the refinery and the highest ranked True Kana in the refinery is a security guard.
On the eve of Lopush and Wamaitha’s wedding, Kimani has an order of 600 barrels of oil and orders all the factory employees to work the day and night shifts to fulfill the order. Lopush is not spared either and is forced to work as the security guard.
The employees are hard at work when Kimani sneaks away to Lopush’s house and tries to talk Wamaitha into having sex with him before she is married off and an argument ensues between the two.
Lopush defies Kimani’s orders and leaves the refinery before dawn to prepare for his wedding and walks in on Kimani and Wamaitha.
Wamaitha is at pains to prove that she did not fornicate with Kimani. A crowd gathers and just as they were about to descend on Kimani, news of a fire at the oil refinery reaches them. Lopush had left with the keys to the installation and he is needed to aid in the evacuation process. The villagers rush to scene of the accident only to find that the whole refinery and its occupants had burned to the ground. A “technical glitch” is blamed for the horrific accident.
“CUT” yells the film director, signifying the end of the shooting. A cast member points out that the film has no credible resolution. Her suggestion is an ending where all communities at peace, there is harmony, truth, justice and equitable distribution of resources. The cameras are still rolling as the cast member makes her plea but in full glare of the camera the director declares his resolution was credible!
Very, very powerful message. Can you dare discuss the important message in this play without being offensive? Chances are that your schooling and exposure cannot allow you to. Poor you its' not your fault is it?
Harsh comment with praises for Kumekucha?
MEANWHILE Yesterday somebody left an interesting comment on one of my Facebook pages. It had kind words for my latest book Mystery Monday but very harsh words for me. You can post your comment below on what your views are on this again your schooling will come out very clearly and I will dish out awards later;
Before I read this book I hated Kumekucha with a passion and I have disagreed with most of his crazy diarrhea that he calls posts in his blog. This book is different. I read it at work and did nothing that whole day. I just couldn't stop reading it. This guy has insights into the way Kenya works and most of the burning questions I had about those strange presidential elections were answered in this very revealing read. Best political book I have read in a very very long time. I really hesitated before writing this comment because Chris Kumekucha is an erratic blogger and my deepest fear is that this honest view from my heart will go into his head and he will disappear once again from the blog as he frequently does which would be a disaster at a time when our mainstream media is so shallow and biased. Prove me wrong Chris.
- Biashara Daktari - (visit THIS PAGE on Facebook to see the comment)