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Three ladies tackle gender and mental health head on

Following the rampant and escalating cases of gender, the theatre heads are working around the clock to stage a theatre production dubbed “Nkadzi” aimed at impersonating and bringing discussions around issues of mental health and gender. The narration follows the recent acts of sexual violence around a certain girl at the Gaborone Bus Rank which strongly irked many gender equality entities.

The play is a tripartite production of a local company, Marung Productions under the tutelage of Moduduetso Lecoge of  ‘A Woman of Many Firsts’ fame alongside Lebogang Disele under The LC Performance Laboratory and Tumisang Baatshwana under Sky Blue Dance Hub. The three in their own right are theater artists and have of recently spread their wings into production.

“We are excited about the collaboration because it is an all-female production team. Actually, the most interesting part is that the whole production from the stage manager to the performers are females, which is a rare feat for a Botswana emerging industry. This production is part of Disele’s PhD research project but she approached Baatshwana and Lecoge to co-produce.”

“The main topic of discussion will be mental health and gender issues. We are trying to tell our stories but also empower more women in the arts to take up leadership positions and create their own opportunities. The show will be performed alongside Disele’s solo piece which explores similar issues through her experience of motherhood.”

“In the past two months there have been more sexual, physical and emotional abuse incidents that have been brought to light but there are still so many untold stories out there. The best way we know how to create awareness and sensitize the public to the issues women face and how they affect our mental health is through performance. So, that is also why we decided to put together this piece.”

For her part, “Nkadzi” spokesperson, Lecoge said she is extremely excited to be extending her work into production and glad about the collaboration with esteemed duo. The theater graduate has also been featured in Zimbabwe recently where she continued to shine.

“We are extremely excited about the performance because it is for women, about women, by the women. This is my first play as a dramaturge. We have engaged theatre graduates for the cast. Baatshwana and Disele are performing arts veterans and we are trying to urge women to create theatre opportunities by leading by example.”

Both shows will be staged on the 21st of July 2017 at 7pm at the University of Botswana and tickets are P50 general and P30 students.

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