Play zooms into teachers’ plight

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NAUGHTY By Nature Theatre Productions run by Eveline Girls High School teacher Thabani Hillary Moyo has once again come up with a thought-provoking play which tackles the plight of teachers in this difficult economic environment.

The new production, a Ndebele play entitled Mbalisi balis’ ungabalisi loosely translated ‘‘Teacher teach, don’t complain’’ was directed by Moyo.

The play is based on a published text by Godfree Muyambo. It creatively incorporates song, dance, mime and poetry.

According to Moyo, the story zooms into a failing economy that has seen the currency loosing value against regional and international currencies resulting in a hyper-inflation environment that pushes prices of services and commodities up beyond the reach of ordinary citizens.

“In this environment those doing business on the black market thrive. Basic commodities find their way into the black market and are sold in hard cash or in foreign currencies. Salaries of workers are eroded because of the foreign currency rates that are outpacing the local currency.

“There are shortages of commodities like meal mealie which is part of our staple food. Fuel is in short supply and is readily available in service stations that sell it in foreign currency or on the black market in hard cash and at exorbitant prices.

“It is in this environment that multiple central characters (teachers) find themselves facing a stupendous antagonist in the form of social-economic environment that they have to survive in,” Moyo said.

Moyo further noted that the play goes through the current dire situation at public schools.

“Why public schools…this is because this is where the children of the poor majority get their education. These are the schools that the government is responsible for. These are the schools were poorly paid teachers are found.

These are the schools that hardly have enough educational resources. These are the schools where we find incapacitated teachers trying to eke out a living through hook and crook.”

The cast is made up of veteran actors Zenzo Nyathi, Gift Chakuvinga, Philani Amadeus Nyoni, Dansie (a teacher by profession) Lynette and Mandisi from Creative College of Arts. The play is scheduled to premiere in April.

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