Warning: The following article contains themes of an adult nature, we are all adults here, right?
From the producers of the Zimbabwean adapatation of Eve Ensler’s episodic play The Vagina Monologues which premiered at the 2019 edition of the Intwasa Arts Festival comes this sizzling homegrown production with 7 playwrights, 5 actresses, one script, one play, The Vagina Monologues Africa.
Fresh on the heels of a successful theatre run with sold out performances of the local adaptation of Eve Ensler’s play, Chipo Mawarire the producer of the play could not let that be the final curtain of the conversations that had been sparked. Following her heart and the feedback from the audience on having something closer to home… Eve’s play is revolutionary and over 20 years after its premiere its still shaking the tables and though relatable the monologues do not have an African context and perspective, and so inspiring this addition of Vagina Monologues Africa which is hoped to open the pathway to more voices adding to the monologues.. A story that says Africa
While Eve had interviewed 100s of women for her Vagina Monologues, for the Vagina Monologues Africa , Intwasa made an on open call on their social media channels for everyday Zimbabwean women who could write or share their stories and the call was answered and from that the script would be born.
The Playwrights – Vagina Monologues Africa
Chiedza Enia Mutare blogger and varsity student, one of the playwrights who watched the play as an audience member in back in December 2019 and when the call me through she wanted to be a part of it. She writes to survive life’s storms.
Patience Phiri a brand ambassador, creative entrepreneur, event MC, media personality and an artivist passionate about women’s issues.
Faith. E. Moto a theatre and film enthusiast
Yvonne Maposa a scientist and writer based in SA. She has written two sizzling books “The Y In your Man is Silent” and “Grasping at Straws”
Grace Maguri a 43 year old mother of 3 beautiful daughters, a teacher by profession her daughters inspire her to write
Nkosilesisa Ncube a screen writer, blogger and trained journalist who uses ses the written word as a form of expression to explore a variety of issues
Chipo Mawarire producer and powerhouse behind this whole production is contributing playwright to some of the monologues and says “…this is not something you come back from, there is no life to go back to before The Monologues… once you find your voice, there is no silencing you…”
The Cast – Vagina Monologues Africa
Musawenkosi Sibanda, Agnes Ncube, Sithabile Ndubiwa who were also part of previous production Lorin Sibanda replaces Lady Tshawe currently on leave and Charmaine Mudau a whole new addition.
Directed by Memory Kumbota and produced by Chipo Mawarire
The Challenges -VMA
Well, we all know 2020 has not the easiest of years, now imagine to trying to produce a theatre production with the new normal and lockdown restrictions… Getting the cast and crew to rehearsal spaces was a logistical nightmare let alone finding the practice venues. They had to make do with what they could find.
But it all came together and on Wednesday the 26th of August the Vagina Monologues Africa will be launching on various social media pages.
The Censorship Board has been uncharacteristically silent, the Vagina Monologues has in the past had a tumultuous relationship with the Censorship Board on account of the subject matter but they seem to have grown a bit less conservative maybe now they understand how some conversations need to be had
The Monologues – VMA
A quick snippet of the monologues
My first time, Period and period pain, Hair, Ways in which vaginas are like strawberries, Chemicals are not a vagina’s friend, The prostitute, Sex talk, I faked it first then found it, A vagina goes to prison, The big O, Got pregnant hid it, Got rid of it and hid it and Not all women have vaginas….
The thing about the Vagina Monologues is they are like a well-executed sleight of hand, similar to how a magician tells you “This where the magic happens” while redirecting your attention, you would think they are simply about vaginas, but its like those optical illusions where you start off seeing something and then your perspective shifts and you see so much more…