“We should take control of our own narrative”, asserts Miss Thelma.
It is on this point I would like to point out that it is not only the beauty that she holds but also the brains, and certainly she will make it big in life! You go girl!
The emerging Theatre Director, Thelma Machinga says that, for Africa as a continent and as a people to develop there’s need for us to take control of our own narrative and it starts with being able to tell our own stories through literature, music, film and of course, theatre.
“I am an Africana ‘womanist’ who strongly believes that for Africa to develop, our own people should be agents in their own narrative rather than being relegated to being mere subjects.
“They should be at the forefront, taking action in what needs to be done rather than waiting for an outsider”, said Miss Machinga.
The final year student at UZ [University of Zimbabwe] where she is majoring in a Bachelor of Applied Arts degree was speaking to the media in the aftermath of scooping the Most Promising Female Director award during her varsity’s recent Theatre Week.
She won the accolade for her debut directorial role in the play, “The Honourable MP”.
“I was not even expecting it, I thought that I was just going to be another ‘nominee’. It was a suprise to say the least, but at the end of it all I was really happy. It boosted my confidence and as a result I am going to continue working harder to attain my goals”, she said frantically.
As to the play itself, this is what Machinga had to say,
“The Honourable MP was written by G Msengezi and it addresses the socio-economic and political issues of post independence Zimbabwe. The masses have been betrayed by the political leaders and they are not getting what they were expecting when they voted. “Corruption, nepotism and neocolonialism is rampant, the blacks inherited the colonial master’s system and the people are now suffering at the hands of their own. “The ‘MP’ in our play is involved in illicit deals at the expense of the commom man, he and his counterparts are living luxuriously whilst the masses are languishing in poverty and thus, the eople are are now rebellling against the governmnt. They want a change…”, said the aspiring director.
But just who is this passionate young woman and where did her journey begin?
“I am quite shy, so theatre is my sanctuary and shell. I find that I have been able to fully-express myself through theatrical forms. I basically flourish and blossom more in theatrical spaces since it gives me more freedom of expression and I cant help but fall deep in love with theatre.
“My own journey in theatre began last year. Rather than just sitting at home during vacations i told myself that maybe I should start working on something.
“I auditioned in several films but for some reason I could never get a role. I eventually got employed by Chaminuka Arts Foundation, an organisation that focuses on empowering young people through theatre”, said Machinga.
Besides theatre, the young lady is also passionate about dance and is no pushover when it comes to Latin American dances such as salsa, cha cha cha, bachada, paso doble.
Thelma said that it was her hope that by the end of this year she would have been able to publish one of her plays, titled ‘Troubled soul’ among other things.
“As from July onwards I will be working with young people engaging them in Educational Theatre. Under Chaminuka Arts Foundation we will also be engaging in different programs. In years to come I should be advancing in my education, getting a Special honours, Masters, Doctrate”, she said
Certainly, the promising young lady has a great potential to make it big and she has already started making a name on her own at such a stage. Her applauded play ‘Honourable MP’ got her featured in one of the prominent newspapers in Zimbabwe, Newsday. Within a space of 2 days after her debut directorial play, she was honoured to direct another play for the varsity’s first year students majoring in Media and Performance, which she nailed to the point and the ZBC (Zimbabwe Brodicasting Corporation, Zimbabwe’s only broadcaster) was there to film the play and get a feel of her magic.