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Dabengwa Foundation brings Gukurahundi play to Zim

The Dumiso Dabengwa Foundation will in December host the much-acclaimed Gukurahundi play, Uloyiko by a South African based theatrical group.

Uloyiko was launched in South Africa and since 2016 has been performed in different parts of the Southern African country.

The play will be performed in Bulawayo before proceeding to Harare and Gweru.

Uloyiko focuses on ZAPU’s military wing ZPRA and South Africa’s Umkhonto WeSizwe relations during the liberation struggle and also zooms in on the mass killings that left about 20 000 people dead in Matabeleland and Midlands.

The foundation`s director Mthulisi Hanana confirmed the development and said the play comes at a time where the government permitted people to discuss Gukurahundi.

“Uloyiko is a heart wrenching play and we welcome this development because Dr Dabengwa was a prominent victim of Gukurahundi and his story is incomplete without that sad chapter of his life,” he said.

Hanana noted there was a need to tell the Gukurahundi story in different ways so people could understand its magnitude.

“Telling the story is the beginning of a process to heal. We need to own the story and embrace it. It can’t be told in South Africa and not in Zimbabwe. The play will also tell the different aspects of Dabengwa and Gukurahundi is one of those aspects in his life. Bringing the play to Bulawayo is also in response to President Emmerson Mnangagwa who said we can now talk about Gukurahundi,” said the director.

In an interview with CITE, South African based Director ofUloyiko, Prosper Dlodlo, urged people to come out in their numbers and be enthralled by an unyielding performance where the cast will showcase the lived experiences of those who experienced the 1980s atrocities.

“People should expect to see the dark side of humanity in the face of racism and tribalism. They should also expect to learn about the intertwined liberation struggle history of South Africa and Zimbabwe, as they are countries that share more than a border. But they will also learn about the genocide and possibly the root cause as well as the key role players,” he said.

Dlodlo noted the cast was awaiting confirmation from the foundation to handle all paperwork to screen the play, otherwise everything was set.

“We ultimately would love the audiences to learn about the evils of othering each other and the importance of unity in the pursuit for justice. Lastly that fear is never a permanent position to rule people,” he said.

As an artist, Dlodlo highlighted that through Uloyiko, people of Matabeleland can also emancipate themselves and continue their efforts to seek justice.

“We would love for people to unshackle themselves from fear, hold destiny by the scruff or the neck and seek justice for the past while shaping the kind of society people desire to live in the future,” said the director.

Meanwhile, the foundation is dedicating one week in December to celebrate and commemorate the life of national hero, Dr Dumiso Dabengwa.

The commemorative week will run from December 2 to 6, coinciding with Dr Dabengwa’s birthday.

Dr Dabengwa would have turned 80 years old this year

“The foundation will host several activities and details will be availed as confirmations come. But off the cuff, we have the Ihawu Awards and the Dumiso Dabengwa Fundraising Dinner on December 6,” Hanana said.

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