CHRISTOPHER MLALAZI will be contributing to the Harare International Festival of the Arts (Hifa) through a debut comedy drama Water Games on May 3.
BY SHARON SIBINDI
In an interview with him he confirmed participating in 2015 Hifa.
Mlalazi describes Water Games as a depiction of a universal problem where many communities suffer from unsafe water in major cities and communes. All over the world residents are supplied with unsafe water through circumstances beyond control of authorities or through sheer negligence and dereliction of duty.
While water is a basic universal right as stipulated by the United Nations, most communities receive unclean water from with no end in sight to water problems that occur all around the world.
Mlalazi has not specified the community in the drama thereby deriving a universal message. He says: “The play is an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s play An Enemy of The People.
In the storyline, a health inspector discovers that drinking water in their city is contaminated with sewage and recommends to city authorities to repair all sewer pipes so that they don’t leak sewage into the city’s main water supply dam, but he meets with resistance from authorities who accuse him of exaggerating the matter and causing panic. I can’t tell you more than this as I don’t want to pre-empt the pay.”
The drama is not just about dirty water running from taps, but the entire environment that sources and supplies the water. Water might be a symbol of social ills that would eventually choke societies.
Interestingly, city council authorities around the world have always defended water supplies pronouncing the water safe for human consumption. Consumers always complain of funny tastes and smell in the water they drink. Sometimes the water has some colour which it should not have.
The poser is whether increasing populations demanding water have led to councils providing water in bulk as per demand without purifying it.
Large cities like Bulawayo and Harare suffer continuous pipe bursts leading to sewage sinking into water sources. Borehole water gets condemned severally while industrial sewer is noted as released into water bodies by the Environmental Management Authority.
Provision of water equates with food provision where genetically modified organisms are quickly taking over as sources of food. Danger of disease, cancer and environmental damage would quickly come into mind.
Water Games was written by Christopher Mlalazi, directed by Jens Vilela Neumann and Leeroy Gono. The comedy drama is three cast – Kudzai Sevenzo, Michael Kudakwashe and Tichaona Mutore. It will be premiered at Standard Theatre, Harare, on Sunday from 7pm to 8pm.