Monday, March 8, 2021

Sleepless nights pay off for young Sebongile Phiri

At just the tender age of 23, Zambian-born Sebongile Phiri seems to have a bright future ahead of her which she greatly attributes to her perseverance and undying willingness to passionately put heart into her performing arts career.

She studies Performing Arts at the University of Botswana and specialises in Theatre. Phiri normally enjoys the role of Director but this time around her final year project got her into script writing ‘A purposeless life,’ a play that she has spent an entire year working on.

She executed it breathtakingly at Thapong Visual Arts Centre on Friday and Saturday evening.

“I am so happy that people have responded positively to my play, it was interesting to see what I wrote being acted out. I’m inspired, I want to write more,” said Sebongile.

She was gassed when Thapong offered her a venue to show her play at no charge. “Alliance Francaise also offered me space for rehearsals every week free of charge and for that I’m eternally grateful,” she said.

Sebongile’s play was unique. The norm is that when an audience watches theatre it sits cinema-style looking on to the stage.
She was ecstatic when Thapong offered her space to show her story because it gave her a chance to get creative and showcase differently.

Instead of sitting in one place to watch the play, she had them following the actors from one room to another.

“This is amazing work by the young lady, her concept of incorporating us in the play made it feel like real life. It felt like we were part of the story, feeling every emotion as raw as it was being portrayed,” said Dineo Manowe who was very happy she bought a ticket to the amazing experience. “Talk about good value for money!” exclaimed Dineo.

Phiri’s script was centred on societal ills that modern youth are confronted by daily, such as alcohol abuse, abortions and demons coming to play to defeat self forgiveness.

It was about a young woman that had to live with rejection from her mother due to the death of a sibling being blamed on her negilence.

She then grew into an alcoholic which had repercussions on her job as she ultimately fell into the viscous cycle of unfruitful rehabilitation, to her being involved in sexual activities that lead her into having to face a painful abortion.

“During my project, I have had sleepless nights, frustration and moments of self doubt which have also taken a toll on my family whose support I could never appreciate enough,” she said.

Sebongile is ready to enrol straight into a Masters program when she graduates this year, she intends to spread her wings and study overseas because she thinks it is time for a change of scenery.

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