Theatre was once big in the city, we all loved this form of art it had something we could identify with in the township. We used to fill up community halls, theatre auditoriums just to get a glimpse of our favorite production and watch our best actor take us through a show that we will all talk about for weeks, back then theatre practitioners will host shows from township to township we all loved the experience.
Theatre in Zimbabwe has told the stories of ordinary people a thing that has in the past led to actors and playwrights being arrested as they tackled issues that the authorities felt were anti-government.
As we celebrate World Theatre Day we take time to reflect on 5 of the best theatre actors to ever emerge from Bulawayo, some have passed on but their theatre prowess will never be forgotten. The following is a list of the Best 5…
5. Leornad Phiri – Bambelela Arts Ensemble
Many could have come across “Muporoto” as he is known by his peers in the arts at the 2018 edition of the National Arts and Merit Awards (NAMA), were he scooped the Outstanding theatre actor award, well his work in the arts dates back in the 90’s. He was among the first group of young theatre actors that toured Norway in 1992 while at Amakhosi. The group had the likes of award winning and the ever globe throttling actor Zenzo Nyathi and Julian Tshuma among others. Phiri has starred in a number of productions and is a marvel to watch.
4. Thembi Nkomazana – Iluba Elimnyama
The late Thembi Nkomazana will be remembered for her prowess, she was part of the group Iluba Elimnyama which was among the best theatre outfits from Bulawayo back then the group had veteran names like Patrick Mabhena.
3. Joyce Mpofu – Amakhosi
When it comes to theatre Joyce Mpofu is one of Zimbabwe’s finest actresses to ever emerge , she was one of the original cast members for Stitsha a play by Amakhosi Theatre Productions, she also has an amazing voice. She is one veteran we would love to one day see back on stage.
2. Patrick Mabhena -Iluba Elimnyama
In recent times we have seen him in more and more television productions, but his roots are in theatre it is here that he shaped up a career which has lasted for decades. He is one actor we would love to see on stage just for old times sake we need such moments.
1. Mackay Tickeys – Amakhosi
The late Mackay was one of the most cherished and loved theatre actors of our time, he was in a number of theatre shows but the one many will remember him for was a role on a television comedy Sinjalo were he played alongside Fortune Ruzungunde. His stage antics are surely missed.
On World Theatre day lets celebrate our local theatre practitioners lets celebrate them. Also join Bambelela Arts Ensemble this afternoon at Matshobana Hall as they bring to life two of theatre thrillers “Look, Listen and Decide a 1994 production and The Naked Truth which is a 2005 production.