Lamentations @12 reveals need for change in men
By Own Correspondent
Living to its tag line of being “rare and unique in its presentation and yet unequivocal in its mirroring of the moral decrepitude of man”, the play Lamentations @12 which premiered at Theatre In The Park Tuesday evening surely left many men in the auditorium scratching their heads.
The hour long piece reveals the inhumane side of some men in society as they take away the hope and future of young girls at the tender age of 12 by raping them and in some instances killing them after the brutal act.
Unlike the common story line followed by most playwrights’ when addressing issues of child abuse – where a child is raped and the culprit eventually gets arrested after some dramatic investigation, resulting in productions that lack thematic variety, Getrude Munhamo flips the script by merging different time zones into one play and focusing more on the victim than the perpetrator.
The play oscillates through modern time, days of the second Chimurenga as well as the period of Gukurahundi.
Together with the director and producer, Daves Guzha the two reveal that one constant factor in all these times besides the sky being blue and sun rising from the east, is the abuse of the girl child in society.
Way before the days of the miniskirt and tight leggings, children have always been raped.
Hence, the ideology that fashion trends perpetuate rape is a mere myth. The play shows that there is need for some serious work to address the matter.
The reason it is rising now is because nobody is willing to deal with the root cause.
Another interesting dimension that the play touches on which is often overlooked or covered up in the name of religion is how prophets from the apostolic sects abuse the girl child, commit child marriages, hiding behind a cooked up prophetic word from the heavens.
The plea of the girl child is made clear in the play. All she wants is an opportunity to shine in society like her male peers without being prejudiced.
However, due to the whole mix up of times and the fact that two grownup ladies are playing the role of a 12 year old can be a bit confusing to the audience. It’s the kind of play that requires you to read the synopsis to have an understanding of what is taking place.
Kudos to the cast of Gertrude and Dalma Chiwereva for being able to deliver and engaging play though it still needs a bit of polishing up.