Although only a few months old, Folk Tale TheatreÔÇöa local theatre company, is fast becoming a sought after collective and is gearing to stage its major play ‘Elements’ during the Maitisong Festival. Billed for April 13 and 15, the play is spearheaded by prolific playwright and award winning actor Donald Molosi.
This stage production, which has seen partnership with the Kenyan High Commission in Gaborone, marks Molosi’s debut as a director and will feature Botswana’s top notch talent when it comes to theatre. “The play will star Zanele Tumelo, Teto Mokaila, Moduduetso Lecoge and myself. It is my directorial debut and I am excited for people to see what I have done with the story as director,” explains Donald.
“This play champions the bilateral relations between Kenya and Botswana and the staging of this Kenyan play here as Botswana turns 50 years old is a wonderful gesture to the Botswana public on the part of the High Commissioner,” Kenyan Ambassador His Excellency Jean Kimani states.
Elements, which Molosi says was written by his friend John Sibi-Okumu whom many know for his acting roles in such Hollywood films as ‘The Constant Gardener’ and ‘The First Grader’, will explore the struggle of being an individual in a world that is constantly trying to force everyone to be the same: “I always admired his work so it is my honour to bring his work to life for a Botswana audience.”
Donald also describes the production as a “conscious celebration of misfitsÔÇöwhich honours those who have been bullied or insulted for being different”. He adds that the play will resonate with many people; be it the young or the old who are grappling with identity and with what it means to belong: “With this piece, we are saying that it is okay not to belong. It is okay to be an individual. It is okay to not fit in. Those who come to see the piece will hopefully experience a healing of sorts for themselves as well,” states Molosi. The play will be staged in a small black-box theatre unlike Molosi’s usual shows which are usually in large theatres.
For cast member Teto Mokaila; “Folk Tale is a family of like-minded individuals whose mandate is to tell Africa’s untold stories in ways that resonate in the hearts of all that witness them, encouraging dialogue and change surrounding pertinent issues barely covered by mass media,” says the young actor.
Asked whether he hoped the show would have a life beyond its Maitisong run, Molosi was positive: “We are proud to be staging this with encouragement from the Kenyan High Commission and with the support of our audience we will probably stage it again.”
Folk Tale was profiled by CNN last year for excellence in using professional theatre to tell African stories that inspire and entertain. The company memorably staged its inaugural performance at GICC, a tailor-made theatrical production about Botswana Life’s contributions to Botswana over the past 40 years and also powered Molosi’s international tour late last year.