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Play shows how politics affects our daily lives

Sunday August 20 2023
mulekwa

Job Odwori (Brian Byamukama) in a heated argument with his wife Rukia (Daisy Owomugisha) in the play “Man to Man” by Charles Mulekwa. PHOTO | TEBERE ARTS FOUNDATION

By BAMUTURAKI MUSINGUZI

It’s a dictator’s world — violence, torture, victims — all over again in Charles Mulekwa’s Man to Man that is showing in Kampala.

The story revolves around Job Odwori (played by Brian Byamukama) and Rukia (Daisy Owomugisha), who are disillusioned by dashed dreams, and live a jaded relationship. And the more a friend and ex-schoolmate of Job, one Innocent (Amon Nuwamanya), intervenes, the more things fall apart.

Rukia is a secondary schoolteacher, who is devout in faith, and realistic in love, while Job is a primary school teacher, beholden to his calling. They depend on their meagre salaries.

The play opens with Rukia informing Job that a stranger who did not want to say his name and leave his telephone number was looking for him while he was away.

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The stranger also wanted to know what business Job is in.

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Job denies knowing the stranger or owning a business.

The stranger is Simba (Blair Wonders Koono), a notorious and ruthless investigator, who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Job and Innocent spend their evenings drinking at Thighs Bar, owned by Black (Gladys Oyenbot), who lives on Vulgar Street, but walks on the road to redemption.

Job comes back home in the night every day. Rukia, who is worried that Job is married to Thighs Bar, reminds him that he had promised to stop drinking, and that if he was not drinking every day, they would save money and buy a decent bed.

It happens that whenever Job is tipsy, he will loudly tell whoever wants to listen that he went to the same school with president of the country.

The play that is directed by Amelia Mbotto Kyaka, and produced by Tebere Arts Foundation premiered at the Ndere Centre in Kampala on July 28. It will be staged at the National Theatre in Kampala on August 18, 19, and 20.

According to Mulekwa, the play reflects how sometimes the politics of the day spills into our daily lives.

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“State security is important, yes, but what about an ordinary citizen’s security?” he adds.

Mulekwa is a lecturer at Makerere University, and also serves as a consultant for drama and cultural production. His plays include A Time of Fire, The Woman in Me, The Eleventh Commandment, and Bond of the Knife.

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