Theatre has never felt real for fiery theatre producer and actor Silvanos Mudzvova, who wrote the soon to premiere Rooftop Theatre in the Park play, Protest Revolutionaries, if it did not speak to his heart and that of his audience.
He tells Radiovop: “My inspiration to do this story is simple. I wanted to mirror a fundamental issue within our society, the issue of protest. That issue is tackled in the context of the iron lady, Jenni Williams and the way she has lived up to this day and it was meant to be performed as a tribute to her bravery and contribution to the plight of Zimbabweans.”
It seems during rehearsals one has a feeling the Arab spring is a major influence in the thought processes and Mudzvova concurs.
“The bravery in North Africa shows that people can claim back their soul and fight for their very right to live like they want, to choose leaders of their choice and to ensure future generation have a brighter tomorrow. I see this dream for for Southern Africa.”
Although admittedly the play was initially angled at celebrating the women activism in the world the world of protest is wider and Mudzvova must have realised it when he said: “Following a number of revolutions in Africa, we thought the play should not only be limited to women activism.In this way, the play advocate for people to look at the fact that Southern Africa can also be saved just as we saw in the Arab nations, Egpty and Tunisia as well as Libya.”
In a synopsis provided, the play depicts roles played by various activists, including students, farmers and street vendors in a bid to demonstrate everyone has the power in them to fight for their cause, no matter who they are.
Protest Revolutionaries is set at Africa Unity Square, Harare. After a victorious protest, the square is renamed Revolutionary Square to symbolise the power of the masses.
Never to shy from airing his views and ruffling feathers in November 2010 a Mudzvova demonstration planned for the Harare CBD was blocked by the police.
The demonstration was to be a protest against the secrecy that shrouds the assets of public officials in Zimbabwe.
Mudzvova declared then; “Members of parliament, the Attorney General, Reserve Bank Governor, Civil Servants, Mayors and Councillors across the country should declare their assets before taking office.”
He had planned to start his one-man march from the corner of First Street and Nelson Mandela Avenue and to end it at Parliament building, corner Third Street and Nelson Mandela Avenue where he would picket till 1400hrs.
In a statement Mudzvova said; “It is my hope that after the demonstration parliament will craft a law that makes it mandatory for every public office holder to declare assets and [makes them] fear to abuse office by enriching themselves as is the case with Ignatius Chombo. The public office abuse has been going on since independence and in the end of every office abuse we end up with a commission that doesn’t bring out any result.”
Let us see if his play will not suffer the same fate from a country prone to panic if a message it deems politically incorrect was to ever be given a voice through any medium, theatre notwithstanding.