Nanzikambe was not only illuminated by the spotlight that symbolised day during Mwana Wanga, a one woman play, but also by insight.
The play metaphorically talks about the progress of Malawi since independence by using an analogue of a woman explaining her 50-year love journey.
She still lives in the same unfinished house 50 years after being set free from her abusive adoptive mother. She ends up dating a number of men after divorcing her husband of 30 years who was abusive, jealous and too controlling. She shares her story with her grandchildren as she also writes her child who is in the diaspora.
The audience was surprised to find out that a play that started with a woman’s journey was actually talking about the journey of Malawi and the status quo 50 years after independence.
The one-woman play’s strength rested on the humour, which kept the audience’s ear attentive and the ingenuity of the director to make the play interactive to renew the actor’s hype and keep the audience interested and to follow the play.
For someone who has listened to Kimba Mutanda’s Dear Child, one would wonder how the song can be adapted for a stage play, but the director Catherine Makhumula adds some steak to the stew to make Mwana Wanga an interesting play.
The actor, Uchizi Munyenyembe, executed the theatrical piece so brilliantly as if the role was tailor made for her.
With her facial expression on point, consistency on mime and character transformation, the fresh Chanco graduate proved a solo actor play can be exciting.
However, the actor lost the energy that she initiated the play with towards the end. To counter this, the director should have included more interactive activities towards the end to give space to the actress to regain the hype and also the audience to get back in the performance.