JACOB settled in the land where his father had sojourned, the land of Canaan – this is the story of the family of Jacob; and more than 60 young learners at Mufulira’s Jack Moffat School are devotedly rehearsing the Biblical tale as a concert which is open for public performances before their parents at Mufulira Little Theatre on 20 November for the Lower school, while the Upper is premiered for November 27.
Indra Makoleka-Chibale, one of the teachers in the school conscripted entertainingly the storyline, localizing it for the young learners and environment and the shows are set.
Back to the fold: when Joseph was seventeen years old, he was tending the flocks with his brothers; he was an assistant to the sons of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpha, and Joseph brought their father bad reports about them.
Jacob loved Joseph best of all his sons; and he made him a long ornamented tunic…when his brothers saw that their father loved him best, they hated him so much they could not say a word to him.
Once Joseph had a dream, and when he told his brothers, they hated him even more. He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had, “There we were, binding sheaves in the field, when suddenly my sheaf rose to an upright position, and your sheaves formed a ring round my sheaf and bowed down to it.”
His brothers said to him, “Are you really going to make yourself king over us? Will you rule over us?” So they hated him all the more because of his dreams and his reports.
Then he had another dream, and told it to his brothers, “Look I had another dream,” Joseph started, “this time, the sun and the moon and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” When he told it to his father and brothers, his father reproved him and asked, “What is the meaning of this dream of yours? Can it be that I and your mother and your brothers are to come and bow down before you?
Joseph’s brothers became furious as a result, but his father kept the matter in mind.
One day, when his brothers had gone to pasture their father’s flocks (played by Liseli Katungu, Kamangu Matanga, Rachael Mundebele, Doris Kabwe, Joy Bipanda and Chayemba Mulambia) at Shechem, Israel requested Joseph to check on his brothers in order to bring word about their work.
When Joseph went to where his brothers were, they amazingly stripped him of his tunic, and threw him in the empty cistern, but when they saw a caravan of Ishmaelite (Chishala Musonda, Ibrahim Asumwishe, Kalasa Chalwe, Elijah Ngwira and Harrington Mambwe) coming from Gilead; their camels laden with gum, balm and resin to be taken to Egypt, Judah, one of Joseph’s brothers asked, “what is to be gained by killing our brother and concealing his blood? Come, let us sell him …” and thereafter, the story begins unwind safely letting go off the pathos, grief and suspense, and largely the young actors acting skills.
With a cast that exceedingly go beyond most of our general theatre precepts co-directors of the play Joseph and His Brothers, Indra herself as a writer and Natasha Matanda should be lauded alongside everyone else like the group of teachers who remarkably worked on the costume, and Joy Phiri the teacher of music as well as the staff who prompted the players and kept in check of the usually well mannered pupils.
Joseph is played by Nathaniel Nyimbili, Jacob (Luumuno Siaduaka) while Luketekelo Mulusa and Saviour Mulenga play the Man. Joseph’s brothers are meticulously played by Ian Mukupa, Genius Nkandu, Sepo Kasweshi and Morgan Nshimba.
Members of the flock include Brenda Chipako, Panwell Nyireda, Jackson Mulenga, Chairty Nkweto, Kabwenda Simpasa, Fidelis Simbeye and Bruce Chipili. Others are Sama Bassem, Richard Chilufya, Amanda Mwelwa, Bliss Saji and Mwewa Musenga.
I watched the thrilling, intense dress rehearsal of the play which as you read this column was staged last Friday (20 November). I am crossing my fingers I don’t miss my colleague Bwalya Kazungo’s play Lukondo, another concert drama by the Upper School on Friday 27
See what, light plays that won’t keep you guessing and deeply thinking of how the home economy your home are good – schools that find time to do musical plays away from the conventional social and politics should be exalted and inspired.
I am now with another opinion; the Ministry of Education should relish the thought of all schools, especially government-run ones running end of year concerts! Don’t we have teachers of music? What are they doing where they are posted if they are not teaching music?
For those that have keenly followed this column, teachers engaged in the creative arts have been my annual traditional anthem; we need lots of light plays and musicals to end the year. Perhaps, I am merely being cynical about the festive season; certainly I enjoy the festive period of December than all the other months.
Jack Moffat School, run in Kitwe and Mufulira is the talk of these two towns as a reputable institution; teachers are egg on with the job, administration is outstanding, and the school commendably neat; parents too, play a very supportive role, that of ensuring every activity they partner remarked the proprietor Joyce Besa-Phiri, who runs the school along with his husband Boyd Phiri.
Joyce admitted the success story of Jack Moffat as a school was resultantly group work, and as such she exalted her staff; learners, teachers and parents who have always been behind the school.
“We will certainly expand from where we are to a bigger school. We started with three learners in the living room of our personal house where the school is, now we are a big place and still expanding,” said the always jovial Joyce insisting on making education holistic and wholesome for the young learners.
With educational themes as the story of Joseph, the public is certainly expected to rekindle their Bible knowledge and find something to smile at, talk about and entertainingly enjoy for a family outing.
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