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All about black men... and love

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Linda Nabasa, who plays Marina, in a scene from Afro Man play which ran at the National Theatre in Kampala on July 10, 2015. PHOTO | MORGAN MBABAZI. 

By BAMUTURAKI MUSINGUZI

Posted  Friday, July 31   2015 at  16:51

In Summary

  • The play explores polygamy, promiscuity, dishonesty, selfishness, egocentricity and violence in African men. It however also captures the positive side of African men as loving husbands and fathers, cultured, considerate, honest and hardworking parents.

Three young Ugandan women have written and performed a a play titled Afro Man to tackle the issue of relationships among young urban Africans.

The play, was written and performed by Linda Nabasa (who plays Marina), Nankoma Sandra (Kendra) and Rashida Namulondo (who plays Sara). It was staged at the National Theatre in Kampala on July 10.

The play explores polygamy, promiscuity, dishonesty, selfishness, egocentricity and violence in African men. It however also captures the positive side of African men as loving husbands and fathers, cultured, considerate, honest and hardworking parents.

The three characters in the play — Marina, Kendra and Sara — take the audience through their life stories, and the struggles and hopes in their relationships with their men.

Sara is a chatty spice trader, happily married and recently moved to the city. She sells spices to support her family as her husband pursues higher education.

Praises for her husband always roll off her tongue, letting every Tom, Dick and Harry know how they met. Sara’s spice trade leads her to meet Kendra, who introduces her to Marina. Sara is the pillar of togetherness, forgiveness and support for the two other women.

Kendra is a single, free-spirited woman who likes to gossip. She dreams of finding true love but on the other hand is not certain of what direction to take as she fantasies about dating celebrities, rich and brilliant men.

“I want a loaded man, who drives the latest cars and will buy me a nice apartment,” she says.

Through her window, Kendra observes her neighbours’ lives and compares it with hers. She however learns from her observations that relationships are not as rosy as her young mind believes. But one is thing is certain. Kendra wants a man who will not cheat on her.

Marina, on the other hand, is a weak-spirited mother of one. She is in an abusive relationship and in order to protect herself, she develops the personality of a woman she calls “Monika" who takes her on a dark journey filled with thoughts of killing her husband.

“My desire roams in the desert of madmen. I am in hibernation. I am thinking of spices for my morning tea and what I will cook on his funeral,” she laments.

To Kendra, Marina is a resentful, mentally ill woman, who spends half her day seated on the porch smoking and drinking while talking to herself.

“You are a stupid woman, who has a husband but keeps complaining all day and shouting at your neighbours for no reason,” Kendra tells Marina in an argument.

Marina suffers from a personality disorder, a problem she blames on her husband, whom she blames for her lack of education. “I am a condom. He kept me in his wallet. He used me and threw me away. He did not show me love. He did not cook with me. We like men who cook with us,” she says.

Sara advises Kendra to use spices to “catch” a man. Sara also believes that spices go straight to a man’s heart and improve one’s sex life.

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