Comedian Michael Usi, popularly known as Manganya, has come in the open to declare Moto Wachilendo a political play, saying: “politicians are deliberately cultivating poverty to place Malawians under their yoke.”
In an exclusive interview, Usi said he would be happy if politicians, policymakers and patriotic Malawians watched his upcoming play. The play exposes the negative effects of bad governance from colonialism to present day politics of self-rule.
This is the first time the comedian has spoken openly about the political nature of his productions.
In 201l, he earned rave reviews for Loto la Farao—a scathing satire on the late president Bingu wa Mutharika’s repressive economic and political leadership. Despite the apparent political thrust, Usi sanitised the 2011 play as a call on all leaders in families, churches and elected positions never to always take for granted views of the lowly, for the Bible shows Pharaoh entrusted his slave Joseph to interpret his dream of pending drought.
This time, the Tikuferanji star called a spade a spade because he says he is a “patriot who will never compromise his principles where many are suffering”.
He explained: “Moto Wachilendo is a political play, a journey from the colonial rule of Roy Welensky to democracy via the one-party rule of founding president, Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda. Malawi is trapped in the vicious cycle of poverty because of bad governance.
“Ask yourself why we are still underdeveloped and you will realise that our poverty is largely due to human factors, especially bad governance.
However, the play is not a prescription of government flaws, but a reminder that good governance is part of God’s DNA—a divine requirement.”
Coming next month, the play is an allusion to the Biblical account of how children of Aaron were struck dead when they resorted to offer a sacrifice using their own fire instead waiting for flames from above.
By extension, Usi reckons the ‘God-fearing country’ risks God’s furry and suffering the wrath of fanaticism because prophets in season have left most politicians under the misconception that they have a license to do whatever they want because they are chosen by divine powers.
“If you depart from righteousness, you suffer punishment. All politicians claim to be inspired by God. How many gods do we have? This is how one Joseph Kone plunged Uganda in untold killings,” said the comedian.
With 14 performers, including dancers, the play is expected to premiere next month.