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Theatre Works Workshop in Mutare
August 05, 2003
Works is a Drama and Dance troupe based in the city of Bulawayo.
The troupe was established in 1997 and to date has grown to be one
of the best performing troupes in this country. Umkhathi specializes
in Community theatre and African traditional dancing. Umkhathi also
conducts theatre and dance workshops for interested organizations
and individuals. Umkhathi is affiliated to the Zimbabwe Association
of Theatre for Children and Young People (ZATCYP). The troupe comprises
of sixteen members, all doing theatre on fulltime basis.
From the 20th
to the 26th of July four members of Umkhathi Theatre Works carried
out a Theatre and Dance workshop with street children in Mutare.
The workshop was held after receiving an invitation from Simukai
Street Children Programme, a Non Governmental Organization based
in the city of Mutare. In the mornings the workshop was held at
the Simukai Contact Centre with young people aged between eight
and twenty two years, living in the streets of Mutare. Everyone
seemed to enjoy the workshop as some of these young people have
good talents in music, acting and dance. The problem was that some
of them suffer from the effects of sniffing glue and taking drugs
as they are not going to school anymore.
In the afternoon
the workshops were held at Dangare primary School with children
that were taken from the streets by Simukai and reunited with their
families, these children are now going to school. They meet at Dangare
for feeding and then they do different activities. Their ages range
from six years old to seventeen year olds. We enjoyed working with
these children as they would take instructions from resource persons
and do what is expected form them, at one time you would forget
that they used to sleep and do bad things in the streets.
In a period
of five days we managed to come up with a ten minute dance package
and a short play that were presented at the last day of the workshop
by these children. These children showed potential that if they
got more workshops of this nature, some of them can create good
careers for themselves. As a team of resource persons from Umkhathi
Theatre Works, we managed to learn raga and rap from these children
that we are still enjoying to sing here in Bulawayo.
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