Just getting in to the national theater, watching the set, I was nostalgic instantly. It is hard to resist
the stage when the stage is home. The Kenya National theater is home for almost every artist, such
that every legend must have been first born here.
And this was an experience, spectacular. It was artistic beautiful, it was homely, and whilst I sat
there at this wonderful design set, I would miss Phoenix, I would reminisce on the very beautiful day
of getting in and out of stage, and watching the audience smile, and cry sometimes. And for the
longest time, I thought it was all over.
But today, I watched the phoenix bird rise. Of new hope for the country and for art being the voice
or reason. Something even greater has been birthed, one with a Kenyan mark on it, one that spoke
to our hearts, our minds and our soul. I was astound by the evolution and revolution and the rebirth.
It was not just fun and games, this was not Shakespeare or Romeo and Juliet, it was Afro- powerful.
It spoke life. It spoke to the issues we face in such a pleasant narrative. It was like a revolution
unfolding right before our eyes. It spoke of corruption, it spoke of governance, justice, hope, in the
most interesting way ever. Highlighting the desperation, stating, “corruption is a game until it abuses
life” and the state of helplessness, “People tell me things, but never tell me things will never
From the life of a young girl, who was referred to as “water searching for the sea, and yet to the sea
you returned,” who, because of the system, even she as the governor’s daughter would be caught
up in accident and die. Yet she was the promise of hope that would have changed the world, with
such a beautiful soul. But she even in her death, states that that was better than the life she lived.
It displays the rot, the madness, and speaks of how, “the music is not usually loud, if you are in the
party, attending it”. And how that perhaps people were envy, that they were not having access to
funds to steal. And the desperation is even deepened further when you realize, “we do not have
straight lines, ours is a web.” When you see it from the life of a police man who tries to fight the
system and gets swallowed in it too. It makes you see the magnitude of the problem, when you see
the controls of power, and how “money buys everything”.
Truly, the best play ever. I remember
writing, “who wrote this play?”
It talks about the governor (Ben Tekee) who ever since he was a child, he “ wanted the bigger slice of bread…..It’s
hard to miss a boy who eats faster….and you eat for us all” and in his defense, “if you don’t eat fast,
you won’t eat at all.” Stating that he was self-made, and he would defend his state.
All a midst humor, art, poetry and even dance. I have seen many beautiful things, and certainly this
is one of them. Poetry that spoke of “My boys are dying,” and it would not be possible for anyone to
not feel the depth of this poetry. Mufasa the poet, did spoken word justice, and suddenly I
understood why the girl who believed in change so much said, “you taught us to dance before we
could fight, but now I realize we have to fight”
It awakens you to the reality that we should find ourselves in the picture, be part of this revolution.
Not just as artists but individuals that in turn makes the society. That, these leaders are not aside
away from us, they come from us. They depict who we are. And truth is, “we cannot keep washing
clothes in a contaminated river… if the fruit is bad you must cut the tree.”
It is in the writing, it is in the acting, the legends, Gilbert Lukalia whom I have watched ever since I
begun watching plays, and a state of something very new that comes from the depth of the soul and
passion, that reminds us, “ Any good thing that can be broken can rise again” and the hope that, we
should, “Stay here long enough to hope…. Stay here long enough to make it to the finish line” Weh.
No amount of writing it can give it justice, you have to see the actors come to play. You have to be
right there to witness it yourself, and be part of the experience. You have to live it to feel it. You
have to see how one should never give up on art and their power as role models to change the
The greatest call from the guest of honor, former CJ, Dr. Willy Mutunga, “You must repeat your message. You are a role model. Your message is a lone voice in the wilderness getting amplified……the war is political, it cannot be fought in courts. The war will be fought in the minds”
For more pictorial moments from the play, click here.
To check out the whole team, click here
Writer and Actress