Bikozulu’s moving tales return to theatre 

From left: Saumu Kombo, Martin Githinji, Nick Ndeda and Mwikali Mary on stage. 

Photo credit: Courtesy

What you need to know:

  • Produced by Masuti Mwalimu and directed by Mbeki Mwalimu, it brings together an impressive cast of actors like Mwikali Mary, Nick Ndeda, Wakio Mzenge, Martin Githinji, Shazmeen Bank and Saumu Kombo.
  • Shazmeen’s performance is particularly impressive, given that it was her debut stage appearance.
  • This is Back2Basics’ first play this year. They have shows at 3 pm and 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday. 

Jackson Biko’s sizzling writing needs no introduction. His superpower as a writer lies in his wit as he peels layers of the lives of his characters in his award-winning blog bikozulu.com.  

Now, imagine his writing coming to life on stage, with characters nailing down his prose to a T. It’s not very difficult to imagine, as Biko’s writing lends itself beautifully to dramatisation.

Third instalment 

The latest Back to Basics Kenya production, Breathe 3, is the third instalment of excerpts of Biko’s work. It will run from November 5 to 7 at Jain Bhavan, Nairobi.

Produced by Masuti Mwalimu and directed by Mbeki Mwalimu, it brings together an impressive cast of actors like Mwikali Mary, Nick Ndeda, Wakio Mzenge, Martin Githinji, Shazmeen Bank and Saumu Kombo.

Shazmeen’s performance is particularly impressive, given that it was her debut stage appearance. A life coach by profession, her monologue as a woman healing from a broken marriage earned her grand applause from the audience. 

Cast members of Breathe 3 pose for a photo. The play is directed by Mbeki Mwalimu. 

Photo credit: Pool

The play is set in a train cabin, and one by one, the passengers launch into monologues about their lives, each doing their best to dramatise their life’s situation. If you have interacted with Biko’s writing, then you may recognise some of the characters. 

Grabbing and keeping an audience’s attention through monologues can be a difficult task, but the director, Mbeki, who was assisted by Wakio Mzenge, nails it down. You will be glued to your seat.

If anyone’s star shines bright in the play, then it’s Nick Ndeda’s. He morphs seamlessly into the different characters he plays, never missing his punchlines, delivering each one with the dexterity of a seasoned actor. Wakio Mzenge’s performance is also quite gripping, and she laces a rather sad tale of a bizarre and crushing, depressive experience with humour and grace. 

This is Back2Basics’ first play this year. They have shows at 3 pm and 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday. 


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