Kwathu Drama group

Kwathu drama group back on stage in Malawi with a bang

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Kwathu spokesperson Bon Kalindo, popularly known as Winiko, said on Sunday that the popular theatre group was open to constructive criticism as they move forward with their performances.

The group on Sunday returned to Blantyre Cultural Centre (BCC) with an old play titled Alibe Pabwino, which was premiered in 1998.

The performance attracted an impressive audience, proving, yet again, that the group has not lost its halo.

“We always say that Kwathu is here because of the support we get from the people. We thank God that more people came today and this motivates us to do more,” Kalindo said.

In Alibe Pabwino, Kalindo’s first play with Kwathu, he was on top of the game as he sent people into stitches from the word go.

He also made people laugh with his costume. Not that the costume is new; he has been putting it on in most of Kwathu’s plays except that, this time around, he did not put on his high heeled shoes as he opted for football boots.

“We are not perfect, we still need to improve here and there but, today, we breathed life into this old play. That said, we are open to constructive criticism so that we can continue to bring out the best. People are also welcome to give us different stories they would like us to tackle,” he said.

He said Alibe Pabwino is a mature and historic play; hence, the decision to revisit it.

“This is the first Kwathu play I starred in when the group lost Christopher Chiwalo (GPMG) — may his soul continue to rest in peace. It is also a play which was written by Eric Mabedi and the late John Nyanga,” Kalindo said.

He also said the play has a strong message, centred on human relations. It implores people to appreciate each other.

“Our aim is not to kill old plays and, again, working on old plays is part of remembering actors who left us,” he said.

The play tells the story of a couple of Linda Chatha and Mabedi, who part ways over salary differences.

Mabedi, who is a teacher, struggles to educate Chatha, who stars as Judie in the play, until she finds herself with a good job— which sees her getting more pay than her husband.

With assistance from her uncle (Kalindo), Judie dumps her husband to look for a man who can match her new status.

Later, things do not turn out the way Judie anticipated as the man she banked on marring tells her off.

Meanwhile, Judie’s former hubby finds himself in a better position after going for further studies and ends up being promoted to the position of district education manager.

And, soon, Judie comes knocking on her former husband’s door after seeing him on television.

But it is too late for her as her former hubby is engaged to another woman.

In the past, Kwathu has been faulted for compromising on stage setup as they often go for simple chairs. This time, they improved on this.

Dereck Thumpwa, one of the audience members who travelled all the way from Zomba, said he was impressed with the play although it was done some years back.

“I have enjoyed the play, especially because these things are happening in our society. Of course, I think they have room for improvement, especially on costume and props,” Thumpwa said.

Mabedi said he knew the play would be successful as it had a cast of veteran actors.

“It was not the same play we did in 1998. We will revisit other plays and improve on them. Alibe Pabwino is old but it is like messages from the Bible and will always be there,” Mabedi said, adding that they will stage a new play on Easter Saturday.

Other members who were part of the cast include Emma Chikwembeya, Charles Mphoka and Ferguson Magola while Enifa Chiwaya and Evans Mbewe are the faces that missed out.

Kwathu staged the play at Gymkhana in Zomba Monday.

 

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