Rooftop Promotions has made a return to Alliance Française with Stephen Chifunyise’s play of university intrigue ‘Farai and Chipo In Love’.
The theatre company traditionally performed at Theatre In The Park (TITP) in the Harare Gardens but this space was closed down last year after several clashes with Zimbabwe International Book Fair, who are the custodians of the Harare City owned venue.
Rooftop Promotions Founder Daves Guzha explained: “Rooftop is excited to be back at [Alliance Française] which was our home from 1994-1995. This year has seen a major slump in productions mainly due to the closure of TITP which has been in existence for 17 years.”
The Old Mutual Theatre at Alliance Française will provide interim relief as Rooftop Promotions is set to move to a new TITP, scheduled to open before the end of August.
The play, which premiered last night, is running nightly until 15 July.
‘Farai and Chipo In Love‘ tells a story of two young university students who have been dating for over five years. Their relationship faces collapse after Chipo’s uncle, by totem only, tries to bed her.
Chipo (18), a rural girl who is determined to stick to the tradition of sexual abstinence till her wedding night, refuses to be lured by the money and expensive gifts Sekuru Zimuto (50) throws at her. The play gives the audience an insight into what goes on at many universities, as desperate young girls fall prey to rich old married men.
A blend of humor, drama and suspense, ‘Farai and Chipo In Love’ brings out a clash of local and western culture, traditional and contemporary views.
Directed by David Guzha, Rooftop’s founding member, the play is performed by Silvanos Mudzvova, Nyaradzo Nhongonhema and Derek Nziyakwi.
In the play, Stephen Chifunyise portrays a hug as a sacred bond that can be shared only by lovers while the youthful audience disagreed to this during the discussion forum after the opening show.
In her debut Rooftop production, Nhongonhema delivers a spirited performance demonstrating how young girls can say no to sex whilst suggesting the complete opposite with their actions.
“From where I come from virginity is a lady’s pride. My performance tries to bring out how emotions can tempt in opposition to one’s mind,” said Nhongonhema.
Nziyakwi took on the part of Farai a mere two days before the premier after John Pfumojena who was supposed to play Farai fell sick. Pfumojena,who was part of the audience, commended Nziyakwi for his great performance.