On Saturday 23rd February, both of the LubutoDrama groups met for the first time at Ngwerere Lubuto Library (NLL), and each performed a play for the assembled audience. I was at Fountain of Hope Lubuto Library (FOHLL) in the morning, helping the group to get ready. The kids were all excited and incredibly impatient for the bus that would take us to NLL to arrive – never before in Zambia have I been asked quite so frequently what the time is! Finally, despite very bad congestion on the roads, we arrived at our destination on the other side of Lusaka and both groups set about making introductions and befriending each other.
The performances were blighted by a heavy rain shower, but our spirits did not drop and the actors gave it their all…
Both groups have been working hard to improve their plays (the story of Rosa Parks and the traditional story of The Elephant and the Goat) since they were first shown at their home libraries a couple of weeks ago, and the performances were very polished with lots of audience participation and a party atmosphere. There were a few opportunities for everyone in the audience to get up and dance, and the crowd of onlookers steadily grew despite the inclement conditions! It was obviously as wonderful an experience for all of the audience members who came to watch, as it was for those performing. The bus journey back home was a lively affair with lots of celebratory singing.
It was particularly nice for me, as somebody who works in both libraries, to be able to celebrate the astounding achievements of all of the participants in the LubutoDrama program in one place. I think the kids really enjoyed meeting each other, seeing each other perform and finding out that there are other young people on the other side of Lusaka, doing the same thing as them. We are all looking forward to next time, when the group from NLL will be travelling to FOHLL and performing there.