While Phoenix Players deserve a serious commendation for the qualitative improvement of their Christmas musical Joy to the World since the opening night, the show still didn’t win Best Musical during the Sanaa 2014 Theatre Awards.
I can’t dispute that decision as I never saw Uswahilini, the musical that finally won.
One can still see the last remaining shows of both Joy to the World and Heartstrings’ Kenya Made in China (which won best comedy 2014) through December 21.
But I challenge the Sanaa judges for not considering the spoken word performance, Weaving PanAfricanism, by the brand new theatre troupe the Weaving Women Collective, for an award.
Granted, the show was staged at the Alliance Francaise just a week and a half before awards night. But by ignoring it in 2014, it might easily be overlooked as were a number of shows performed early in 2014 like Borrowed Life and Life in the Single Lane.
Fortunately the new group will restage their original script in March so it can be considered in 2015.
Led by two theatre veterans, Mshai Mwangola-Githongo and Mueni Lundi, the goal of this gifted group of seven is to interrogate the relationship between gender and Pan Africanism by weaving together poetry, prose and poignant personal stories by and about women of Pan-African descent.