A new play titled "Wusiku" by New Zealand-based playwright Stanley Makuwe is set to premiere at the University of Zimbabwe's Beit Hall on October 26 starting at 4pm. Directed by Charles Matare, who also features on the cast, the play sets out to highlight the problems faced by those who live beyond their means.
Other cast members are the sultry actress Chipo "Eve" Bizure, energetic Teddy Mangawa and Nothando Lobengula.
Matare said it was both a challenge and an honour to direct and act in the same play.
Wusiku is a tragic tale of a young soldier of the same name, who murders his wife Maria for infidelity before he takes his own life. Though exhibiting symptoms of mental imbalance, Wusiku loves his attractive wife so much that he lives his life for her and their young baby girl.
They live in a single room in an army compound. He takes up menial jobs -- from maintaining the colonel's garden to selling cellphone recharge cards just to meet his wife's requirements.
All his earnings go to his wife's upkeep so that she can maintain her beauty.
On the other hand, Dr Mashungu, an over-the-top ambitious medical practitioner, believes he has discovered the drug that prevents the transmission of HIV and Aids, and it is time to try his "discovery of the century" on humans.
When the colonel introduces Wusiku to Dr Mashungu, the doctor sees a good candidate for a guinea pig.
For a fee that goes to his wife, Wusiku agrees to be used for the drug trial. He is injected with the drug then forced to sleep with HIV positive women. During this period, he is not allowed to sleep with Maria.
Instead, the colonel, who has always had eyes on Maria, seduces her and sleeps with her. When Dr Mashungu is satisfied that Wusiku has been exposed enough to the virus, he conducts a public HIV test on him to prove to the world that he indeed had made history.
Wusiku tests positive, a result that shocks the doctor! In anger, Dr Mashungu discloses to Wusiku that the colonel is sleeping with his wife. Wusiku confronts Maria and she denies the allegation.
He approaches the colonel, resulting in a fist-fight that he (Wasiku) loses.
The next day he finds the colonel dancing with his wife in their room. The colonel escapes the scene leaving Maria to face Wusiku alone.
Wusiku stabs her to death in front of their daughter before he kills himself.
He got ideas from recent reports in the media about an HIV drug trial being carried out on Africans.
"Some of the Africans who participated in the trial, though initially negative, tested positive. It is, in my opinion, clear that these tests were done on socially disadvantaged people. "The above-mentioned events, and a German play, Woyzeck, about a disadvantaged young soldier who was executed for murdering his wife for infidelity, inspired this play," Makuwe said.