New Play, Confessor, Debuts and Gets Stopped By Police in Harare

By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha

Harare, Zimbabwe – A new play, titled Confessor, which tells the story of violence prior and post the June 27 presidential elections in 2008 debuted in Harare at the Anglican Cathedral Hall on Monday. The play was forced to stop its run on Tuesday 28 June by the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the National Arts Council(NAC).

The play’s story takes place at a chief’s homestead after the chief invites his subjects to come and open up about violent acts that they committed during the electoral period in 2008.

For many people in Zimbabwe, June 27 invokes very deep memories, many of them that are synonymous with violence. And the plays seeks to tell some of the horrific incidents of that period.

The five-character play makes a minimal use of space, and is couched in a community theatre fashion. The play is told through vignettes of the characters. In addition, the play uses a lot of techniques such as flashback, miming and changing on set.

While the play touches on a raw nerve of violence in Zimbabwe’s political arena, some audience members felt that it did not go deep enough to reveal real stories that happened to Zimbabweans during the electoral period. However, the play is fast-paced, and has a simple set.

“We want the play to resonate with the grassroots – they are the ones that were largely affected by political violence. The play takes place at a chief’s homestead where as a local community leader he assumes his true leadership role and takes a lead in igniting a passion of nation-building which our politicians have failed us for time immemorial,” said Elton Mjanana, the play’s director.


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