The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Drama Festival On Cards

Music, dance and drama play an important role in society moulding. From the late Safirio Madzikatire to Lazarus Boora, actors have made an impact not only in the arts sector, but also in society.

Research has shown that dramatic arts education is an important means of encouraging creativity in problem solving as it can challenge students' perceptions about their world and about

themselves.

It is within that context that Churchill Boys High School in conjunction with Let Them Trust will be hosting a two-day schools drama festival.

The festival will be conducted from November 30 to December 1 ahead of World Aids Day.

This year's World Aids Day commemorations are running under the theme "Getting to Zero -- Zero New HIV Infections, Zero Discrimination and Zero Aids Related Deaths".

This theme is backed by the United Nations "Getting to Zero" campaign and runs until 2015.

In an interview, the project's director Webber Mambo said the drama festival is an orientation event and is expected to attract more than 20 schools in a bid to educate youths about the dangers and risks of HIV and Aids.

"The sole aim of this event is for the children to showcase their talent while at the same time educate each other about the consequences of engaging in early sexual activities as teenagers through performing arts and theatre," said Mambo.

Mambo said theatre groups from each school would present a 15-minute play based on the four themes.

"The themes include, "The consequences of unprotected sex", "Discrimination of HIV infected children in schools and the community", "The consequences of not knowing your status" and

"Different ways in which HIV is acquired", he noted.

Among the prizes for the top three schools is a slot to perform at the Urban Youth Festival pencilled for early next year as well as a cash prize.

Mambo said the festival came about after recognising the need to reaffirm and revive traditional folklore and stories among students.

"Our school and outreach programme is aimed at identifying talented young children and provide the necessary guidance they need in the various artistic disciplines.

"We further host workshops that allow them to have a greater understanding in their field of choice," said Mambo.

LTT engages children to unleash their talent through artistic expression aimed at educating and entertaining them by performing theatrical interpretations of the set books that are in their curriculum and giving them a platform to share, harness and nurture their talents.

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