Northern Youth Shine in Play

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A Review by Anna Ingwafa

MANY learners were last week laughing and cheering on their schoolmates on stage at the National Youth Hall in Oshakati at a play performance, the first for the Elundu Secondary School at the town.

The play Stolen Youth was written and acted by the learners of Elundu Secondary School in Oshakati.

Learners showcased quality acting and it was amazing for the children, who were only introduced to the theatre world for the past four weeks.

Their sounds were loud and clear as they were visually portraying the hardships of life of a young girl, who was sexually abused by her stepfather and seeking help from bad friends

The play was about a teenager Mia, who suffers at the hands of her stepfather in the absence of the mother.

After a lot of blackmailing and sexual abuse from her stepfather, Mia eventually succumbed to the molestation and committed suicide.

Though the play was very emotional towards the end, it was done perfectly and the talent in the young ones makes one think that these children have more than 10 years of experience in theatre acting.

The man behind the play is Richard Swart, a youth theatre activist, actor and playwright, who is actively involved in contemporary youth theatre development throughout the country for the organisation, Assitej-Namibia (Organisation of Theatre to Children and Young People).

According to Swart, the project has covered most towns in Namibia except Rundu and Katima Mulilo where the same training will be introduced over the next three months.

Swart said that he is busy tutoring learners on playwriting and train them in acting. After the training each school nominates a person who will make sure that youth theatre stays alive.

After the play these young and vibrant lear-ners were awarded certificates of participation in a month-long theatre workshop. They also nominated their representatives among themselves and by the look of things the sky is the limit to these young upcoming theatre artists.

In addition to their treasured certificates, they also were given theatre books by Assitej-Namibia, a gesture very much appreciated by the learners.

Swart added that each school he had been working with had their own unique play selected by learners themselves and that guides them creatively to express the problems that they encounter in their communities through a play.

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