VICTORIA, Canada, March 2020/ — Donald Molosi’s award-winning off-Broadway play opened in Canada recently to critical acclaim. The play, called Motswana: Africa, Dream Again headlined the WorldPlay 2020 series in collaboration with Spark Theatre Festival of Victoria, Canada. Molosi will also give public lectures at the University of Victoria on “Art, Politics and Performance in 2020 Botswana.” The actor-writer will conclude his tour with dates in Vancouver, Toronto and Ontario where he will exclusively give public lectures on the same topic to the public.
Molosi’s play was selected for the Canadian festival by an academy of theatre and writing experts from around the world and in conjunction with the Belfry Theatre of Canada. Whereas Botswana is internationally known for being a paragon of peace and harmony, in Motswana: Africa, Dream Again, Molosi explores a Botswana where some tribes are oppressed by other tribes in modern-day Botswana.
In it he tells the story of a young nation that is still struggling with being accommodating of its own ethnic and tribal diversity. Says Molosi, “For the first time in my plays I am engaging with the Botswana of today where tribalism is on the rise and a culture of corruption appears to be custom. I question what this means for our performance of Motswana identity in future. Are we in a post-Botho time? I speak directly to the average Motswana and I ask for national reflection. I am delighted to share Motswana: Africa, Dream Again with a Canadian audience for the first time.”
The WorldPlay 2020 series is a prestigious platform for International that impacts culture and Molosi was invited to Canada to accompany the play and also to speak about some of its themes at the talk-back session. For a Canadian audience Molosi’s play will be directed by Nigerian director Taiwo Afolabi. The cast will comprise of actors from all over the world but based in Canada.
Motswana: Africa, Dream Again written by Molosi was first performed off-Broadway in New York City in 2011. It premiered with Molosi in the title role and it proceeded to premiere in Caliornia in 2013 and Botswana in 2017. In 2017 it was published by The Mantle Books in New York City and the same year it started being taught in several American universities.
In Motswana: Africa, Dream Again, we see modern-day Botswana through Boemo, a member of Botswana parliament who is inheriting his father’s parliamentary seat and ultimately has to lead a country that he does not understand. It is an intimate discussion of how privilege manifests in Botswana – by family name, by tribal identity and by ill-gotten wealth. First published in New York City in 2012, Motswana takes a critical look at modern-day Botswana and ultimately questions who exactly can call themselves a Motswana and why. In the play, Molosi ultimately criticizes political dynasties and does so by asking Batswana to re-imagine what they think happened on that fateful day September 30, 1966 when the Republic of Botswana was born.
Speaking about the play from Victoria, Canada Molosi says, “The time has come to look at the past fifty years of this Republic through sober eyes free of myth. That is the only way we can do better. Otherwise we will continue to be that country that harbors dreams for a knowledge-based economy while we have zero appreciable critical knowledge of ourselves. That is the essence of decolonization.”