Nanzikambe Arts on Saturday evening took to stage its 2011 production, The Messenger, dazzling the sizeable audience with a M’bona story adaptation mixed with thrilling episodes that sent people into stitches of laughter.
This was the second time the play which explores the themes of power, religion, sin, justice and culture was being staged at the Nanzikambe Arts Café.
It is a story of a powerful chief, played by Misheck Mzumara, who has power to bring rainfall and he is doing it throughout the years until suddenly there is no rain and the chiefs rituals of bringing rain seem not to be working.
People decide it is time all the chief’s nephews tried their luck in appeasing God to give them rain before they die. The nephews are taken one after another until it is only M’bona (Mphundu Mjumira) who is left but the chief says he cannot be allowed to do the rituals as he is a bastard, a child without a father and this will cause more calamity.
After some talks M’bona is allowed to do the rituals and behold, rain comes to the kingdom but something tragic has happened, the chief’s son, one from his most favorite wife, has been struck dead by lighting after he went outside when the rituals were being done.
The chief’s wife got mad and decides to punish the husband by denying him his conjugal rights only until he kills M’bona.
Warriors are sent to kill M’bona but they fail in their attempts until he gives them a hint on how they can get him dead and M’bona’s body is buried in Khulubvi River in Nsanje following his instructions and up to date people still pray to M’bona when they need rain.
Nanzikambe Arts Project Officer, Misheck Mzumara, said he was impressed with the turn-out of people who came to see the re-written play as they never did any thorough advertising and were expecting just a small audience.
“This story is different story from the previous stories we have staged. Quite a number of things such as the dressing and the language have changed. It was re-written after the production team visited Khulubvi Holy Shrine in Nsanje where M’bona is strongly rooted,” said Mzumara.
The play, directed by Thokozani Kapiri, was first written by Aaron Ngalonde and was re-written by Mzumara after interviewing the High Priest of the religion Atate Fred Kwacha, and the visit to the holy shrine.