On Friday, Maranyane Institute, an Information Technology, Management and Accounting vocational learning centre based in Mochudi bested three other learning centers at Maitisong, raking in a total of 5 awards including the best play of BOTA’s 2007 Vocational Training Institutions Drama Competitions.
Using the criteria that included observance of how the drama groups used vocal and physical technique, interpretation, and adherence to the theme of “Say No to Multiple Sex Partners,” the competition’s adjudicators, Tiny Connie Thagame, Thapelo Mabote, Daniel Mogami and Orometswe Maotonyane, who all have an academic and practical background in performance arts, had previously whittled through drama groups from 61 institutes of vocational training, to the last four performing at the finals.
Maranyane, who in 2006 came in 2nd in the competition, performed a theatrical piece titled “Kante manong a godimo ae bona,” a Setswana adage that means ones’ private bad deeds will sooner be exposed. The play opened with a fight scene between lovers, played by Kabelo Mfetane and Kgomotso Ratsie, who both have concurrent sex partners. After finding out her HIV status and not being sure who of her numerous partners impregnated her, the character played by Kgomotso has an abortion to Mothusi’s (and her fathers) chagrin.
The play was also recognized for it’s directing that was credited to John Marumo. Conforming to the competition’s theme, and using a strip of diamond fence as prop, Maranyane managed to simply tell a story, which displayed continuity regardless of its minimal stage set changes.
Kabelo Mfetane, who won last years’ best actor award, was first runner up for the same award this year for his portrayal of Mothusi, and ‘best actress’ previously taken by Kgomotso Ratsie this year went to Keba, the actress who portrayed Mothusi’s bubbly youngest sibling, who says delightfully inappropriate things. The actress who performed as Mothusi’ mother received a best actress first runner up award.
The 2nd best play was received by Tonota College of Education who also received five awards that included the best script, in a tale titled Re Tsentse Ting Podile that was told through narration by an old man, Rra Leagajang played by Oabona Theetso. Rra Leagajang relates the story to his son, who is choosing which of his four girlfriends to marry.
Oabona Theetso was honoured as Best Male Actor 2007 for his role and Rra Naledi, Rra Leagajang’s brother who died of Aids, received a best male actor’s second runner award for his effort. His wife also received a best female actress second runner up award.
In third place was Mahalapye Development Trust who related a story called Reetsa Go Tlaa Siama of Tshweu, aka ‘Mr. Loverman’ who, amongst his phalanx of girlfriends, is a Zakes and a Lorato. After infecting his two pregnant women, a reformed Tshweu warns his peers against multiple-sex partners. The play was directed by Goabamang Simon and Rodney Mokgwathi
And, lastly, Zwenshabe Brigades Development Trust performed Goreng le dira jaalo? Directed by J Richard, the play is about another philandering boyfriend whose expectant girlfriend taunts him about infecting him with HIV after confronting him with another expecting girlfriend.