16 April 2012

Kenya: Kakamega Drama Fete Captures Conflict in Sudan Over Oil Wealth

The ongoing National Schools drama festivals in Kakamega at the weekend highlighted the conflict between South Sudan and Sudan over oil.

A play Ballards of Balcony by Kerugoya Girls' Secondary School depicted the conflict as a religious clash between Christianity and Islamic which is fuelled by deep suspicions and conspiracies between the two countries.

In the play, a character Bonoko discovers oil in his farm at Masinani area in South Sudan and as he settles down to reap the benefits, several people show up claiming they are his biological father. Bonoko's only son "Samson" falls in love with a Muslim girl, Fatuma, from Sudan and forces Samson to convert from Christianity to Islamic in order to marry her.

The community, however, objects to Samson's bid to inherit the oil well unless he becomes a member of a Muslim group which is ready to embrace terrorism. When he declines, he loses the right to inherit the oil well.

People, who had earlier claimed to be Bonoko's real biological fathers then conspire with the Fatuma to force him to surrender the land to them. In their hurry to ensure that Bonoko signs documents transferring the oil rich land to them, they miss out of some aspects, which in the end makes it difficult to take over the wealth.

Chavakali boys presented a political satire titled Kubende in which they highlighted the immorality of leaders in their quest to defeat justice. In the play written and directed by Cleophas Malala, Sadik Sumba plays the role of Mr Deputy principal, who impregnates the principal's daughter Tracy but shifts blame to another teacher Kubende, who is arrested after one female student is found with a dead foetus in her bag.

The student, Anabel's attempt to save the teacher fails despite explaining that a woman, who gave her the bag to hold alighted from a vehicle, which zoomed off before she could hand it back to her. But before Kubende is executed, his wife come his rescue after owning up as the owner of the foetus.

In the end, Kubende forgives Sumba even after trying to fix him for a crime he never committed. Precious blood from Nairobi staged a solo narrative that highlighted infidelity in the society and the dangers such as HIV/Aids which come with it.

The narrative revolves around a woman, Angeline who had for 35 years been looking for a husband in vain only to fall in love with a cobbler, Mangenda, who after marrying, become a village celebrity for his amorous relationships with married women. A disappointed Angeline finally returns to her parents.

This year's drama festival theme is; Enhancing National Integration and Cohesion. Performances by teams came to a close yesterday to be followed by a two-day gala at Kakamega high school today and tomorrow.

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