An enemy of the people

Water Games is my new play, which is going to premier at this year’s HIFA. The play is an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy Of The People.

Christopher Mlalazi.
Christopher Mlalazi.

In the story, a health inspector discovers that the drinking water in the city is contaminated with sewage, and he recommends that the city authorities repair all sewer pipes in the city so that they don’t leak sewage into the main water supply dam. But he meets with resistance from the authorities who accuse him of exaggerating the matter and causing panic.

This was an interesting play to adapt, especially when I changed the original story line, which talks about city water baths receiving the contaminated water. I made this drinking water instead, as this is more relevant to our situation in Africa where clean and safe drinking water is a challenge in most communities, both in and outside cities.

Ultimately, the play is not about dirty drinking water only. This is just a metaphor for a much bigger picture of high-level corruption and inefficiency that corrodes the systems that are supposed to run the lives of citizens.

In the past I have had two plays open at HIFA, Election Day in 2010 and Colours Of Dreams in 2011. I am also a novelist with five published books to date, and have won several awards for my creative writing work.

The play is directed by German director, Jens Villa Neuman, and has a local cast: Michael Kudakwashe, Kudzai Sevenzo, and Tichaona Mutore with music from Kudzai Sevenzo and Conirio Mupondirio. The production is supported by the German Embassy in Harare and Aktion Africa.

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