In a first on the drama scene, comedian Michael Usi takes to the roads of Blantyre, MalawiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s commercial city, to showcase the preparatory edition of his upcoming play, Kale.
The pint-sized man behind Manganya comics urged people to throng Chipembere Highway and Kenyatta Drive when he storms the roads sporting a black suit, Wilson hat and a fly whisk -a figure founding president Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda used to cut during his public appearances.
According to Usi, apart from the trademark garbs, the Kale road rehearsal will take him down the drive the fallen leader used to travel on his descent from the hilltop Sanjika Palace to various parts of the commercial city.
“This is a tribute to Dr Banda, a leader who did us proud during his 31-year rule. The youth don’t know much about him. It’s unfortunate that, most of the times, they only hear about his negative side when there are a lot of good things he did,” said Usi, urging people to come and witness the remaking of history.
He called on other artists to consider doing similar projects about Kamuzu’s successor Bakili Muluzi and the incumbent Bingu wa Mutharika, whose legacy risks being similarly overtaken by a litany of negatives propagated by their critics and naysayers.
“Kale dwells on the positive side of Kamuzu for all Malawians, especially the youth who never had an encounter with him. I associate with people of different political affiliations and that is why I allowed mbumba [party women] from all political parties to take part,” he said.
The actor, therefore, urged Malawians to throng the roads as he jumps into a convertible Mercedes Benz to the ululation of Mbumba za Kamuzu (Kamuzu’s guild) at Old Town Hall for his ride to Limbe.
According to an authorisation letter signed by Blantyre City Council, the road drama will go all the way to Limbe through Masauko Chipembere Highway and then branch off into Kenyatta Drive at Chichiri Roundabout.
“We are pleased to inform you that permission has been granted to conduct the rehearsals,” reads a letter, signed by the councils chief executive Ted Nandolo, advising Usi to consult the commissioner of police to ensure law and order during the procession.
The tour will be followed by a full play, replete with Kamuzu’s inspirational speeches and quotes, at Robin’s Park in the city next month. The play will be transformed into a movie.