Port Elizabeth – On the 9th of September, the Youth for Safer Communities (YSC) with Masifunde Creativity Academy held its very first annual drama festival at the Opera House. The drama started at 11 in the morning until 6 pm.
The festival, which consisted of 8 different schools from different townships around Port Elizabeth portrayed real-life stories that take place around them. The first showcase was “Themba’s dream’’ which was presented by Walmer, proving to the audience what really attracted them to come and watch.
They delivered their best portrayal of how the black child sometimes struggle to fulfill their dreams because of what people say and sometimes even members of family lack of faith in it. The play was about, showing that even if no one believes in your dream, what matters is how much you work towards making it a reality. The storyline is about a little boy that has a dream of becoming a pilot although his father does not support it. This mainly because the father believes that black children should just work in kitchen’s and become (udaka-boy).
With his mother by his side, the boy fights for his dream, unfortunately his mother dies due to succumbing burn wounds when their shack sets alight. Themba isvforced to drop out of school and become a daka-boy. He then, decided to quit working so that he can fulfill his dream of becoming a pilot. No one believes that he will make it, but he essentially becomes the pilot he always wanted to be
Following ‘Themba’s dream’ many schools showcased their plays. The prevalent themes in these educational drama stories, was facing rejection from society and family because sexual orientation. Also, not getting approval from parents because they feel you’re not doing enough – which results in the loss of self-confidence, leaving home and trying to support yourself in harsh environments. And in in essence experiencing domestic violence and teenage pregnancy. These children truly showed what true talent is.
Speaking with one of the drama organizers and drama facilitator, Xabiso Zweni. He expressed how the concept (Themba’s Dream) came about, it was when he was talking with these children from Walmer Township, asking them about what is different about their township and they said it is the Airport. But they just saw it from afar and had never been into it. They wanted to portray the emotion behind a young boy who sees a plane and wants to be in it but never gets the opportunity.
YSC was also celebrating the success of the musical Themba’s Dream at National Arts Festival. Mr. Zweni explained that it was not easy, but they managed to push through. When Mr. Zweni was asked as to what plans they have for these children who are part of the YSC and Masifunde he said: ‘’there is a youth summit end of this month and about 300 scholars gather for a weekend in willows resort to plan for their future next 2 years with YSC and Masifunde’’.
‘Themba’s dream’ showed that even if one grew up under unbearable conditions, he/she can still make something beautiful out of it. Townships may be surrounded with many challenges or the highest percentage of crime, but something beautiful can birthed from there. The Masifunde youth choir closed off the play with such beautiful that received a standing ovation from the audience.