Kwathu Drama Group on Sunday afternoon turned Blantyre Cultural Centre (BCC) in Blantyre into an arena of laughter, awe and intrigue with their new production Achitekwele.
Written by Charles Mphoka, the cast was a marvel to watch. Emma Chikwembeya, Gift Lizakuwe, Mphoka, Ferguson Magona, Linda Chatha, Eric Mabedi, Moses Manda and Bon Kalindo delivered a stimulating performance befitting the group’s 35-year experience on stage.
Achitekwele projects the ills that Malawian societies have to contend as a result of some archaic cultural practices such as arranged marriages (chitomelo). On the receiving end is the female whose voice is absent despite being part of the whole arrangement.
The story centres on the controversy arising from an arranged marriage for Loveness (Chikwembeya) and Achitekwele (Lizakuwe). Influenced by his weak financial status, Loveness’ father Majawa (Mphoka) agrees with Achitekwele to be paying her school fees in return for her hand in future.
In the process, Loveness while in college, falls in love with her collegemate. The climax is when Achitekwele comes to claim his would be bride who is ignorant of the initial marriage arrangement.
The production is not devoid of politics. There are elements of pro-Chilima campaign. Achitekwele’s elder brother, (a role played by Kalindo) sent the audience into stitches when he compared himself to Vice-President Saulos Chilima.
The group leader, Mabedi said it is high time Malawi invested in addressing social ills that threaten the future of the girl child.
He said: “The promotion of the girl child has in many ways remained a lip service. Let us shift from the boardroom talk to action.”
Mabedi also thanked Blantyre for the huge turnout.
“When people turn up like this for our performances we are encouraged,” he said.
In vox pop interviews, the patrons said they were impressed with the performance and asked for more.