Mount Kenya University to host mega staging of plays

Everyn Nanzala

Everyn Nanzala of Zindua Arts Rejuvenators and Jumbos Theatre Productions presents a Kiswahili set book play at Pumwani Social Hall on March 6.

Photo credit: Anthony Njagi | Nation Media Group

Mount Kenya University (MKU) in Thika will host a mega staging of plays based on three secondary school set books on March 24. The university’s amphitheatre, which can hold more than 2,000 people, will be the venue for three productions namely Blossoms of the Savannah, Chozi la Heri and Bembea ya Maisha.

The three plays will be staged by a collaboration of two drama groups, Zindua Arts Rejuvenators and Jumbos Theatre Productions. Zindua is directed by Jon Bosco while Jumbo is under the leadership of Siaka Stephens. The group’s executive producer is Mike Mugo, who is based in Maryland in the United States.

Before he relocated to the US, Mike was an outstanding scriptwriter, a creative director and an adjudicator at Kenya Schools Drama Festivals. Among his most memorable productions are Sitting on a Time Bomb, which was performed by Githumu High School and The Name of the Game by Kigumo Bendera High School in the early 1990s. Mugo might be remembered by many theatre goers for his thrilling performance in his role as Anyika in Elechi Amadi’s The Concubine, which was staged in the Kenya National Theatre.

Speaking on phone from the US, Mugo told Lifestyle that he is supporting the two local groups as a way of giving back to the drama festival, which was very influential in his formative years. He sees theatre as a means of providing vital life skills and employment opportunities for the youth. He says acting in the annual schools and drama festivals opened several doors for him as the event gave him a lot of self-confidence and he was able to express himself clearly.  “Acting in school gave me more self-esteem and I would encourage all students to try their hand in drama, whatever level of schooling they are in,” says Mugo.

The two groups have in the last week been touring Murang’a and Nyandarua counties, where they staged the three plays in secondary schools. However, the mother of all shows will be the MKU event, says Don Bosco.

According to Siaka, the charges will be Sh400 for three books, Sh300 for two books and Sh200 for a single book. The plays are staged to enable students to understand the set books better, said Bosco, and the directors hold question-answer sessions with the students after the performances.


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