|Play uses humor, drama, in focusing on women's suffering
Oct. 23, 2006
By Andra Stevens*
MUTARE, Zimbabwe (UMNS)
— Owen Seda and Bekithemba Ntini's production of "Dance Peace Africa"
left its audience in awe after a performance on the opening day of the
Oct. 9-13 Dag Hammarskj÷ld Commemorative Week at Africa University.
The theatrical prowess and vivid imagery brought to life by the cast proved to be both heart-rending and hilarious.
Seda and Ntini are from
the University of Zimbabwe's theater arts department. Their dance-drama
is described by Seda as a typical presentation of the power balances
that exist in society today and which are tipped against women.
"Women are sidelined in
issues such as war and violence, but the reality is that once you have
sidelined women, you have violated everyone's rights," Seda said. He
noted that women and children are often the most victimized in war
situations and are later sidelined in peacemaking processes and
"Women have also never
been able to seek legal recourse for many human rights abuses, and these
are some of the issues that the play raises," he said.
"I laughed and cried,"
said Tinevimbo Mtengwa, a final year student in Africa University's
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. "This is a clear
representation of the suffering that women go through in many aspects of
their lives. ... Many times the stories are never told and may never be
The theme for this
year's event was "Peace, Leadership, Gender and Development in Africa."
Among others, seminar presentations on peace-building efforts in Sudan's
Darfur region and in the Democratic Republic of Congo formed part of
the event's discussions.
Now in its second year
running, the Dag Hammarskj÷ld commemoration, co-hosted by the Swedish
Embassy and United Methodist-related Africa University, provides a
platform for discussing issues of peace and development in Africa.
*Stevens is director of information and public affairs at Africa University.
News media contact: Linda Green, (615) 742-5470 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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