Ruvajena, a Review.
First of all!
My Theatre culturing is on a tricycle.
So, before I load up on rotten tomatoes or standing ovations, please note this disclaimer.
Ruvajena, a Zimbabwean Play directed by Tafadzwa Bob Mutumbi was on at Harare’s Theatre in the Park last week. This was in honour of the International Albinism Awareness Day; Yet, as often cringe-worthy most commissioned pieces can be, Ruvajena was far from it. The award-winning Virginia Jekanyika written story was both coercing.
Exploring the relatable yet harsh day to day stereotypes of people with Albinism face made one shift in their seat.
The story of Ruvajena is one of love and various prejudices.
Those melanated in the audience, myself included, were guilty of some dumbass ignorance or unthoughtfulness that could easily be evaporated by a quick Google search.
Ruvajena played by debutante Jennifer Madiriza, who does a fair job at portraying a young, black, strong-willed woman in pursuit of normality by her own terms. Playing Taka, Ruvajena’s love-interest; David Bvumbe’s vocals teamed with Stewart Sakarombe’s comic presentation added light at intense junctures. Also great as expected was the familiar and passionate execution by Charmaine Mujeri as Ruvajena’s protective mother.
The highlight of the show for me was the great writing by Jennifer and also the stellar execution of a meddling African mum by Joy Malenga which was just delightful! A character you love to hate, yet love to watch.
I do hope the Play tours or comes around again so I can enjoy it and well, ahem…take pictures.