Mbali Ndlozi, director of Izibazi Zomendo.
A hefty R196 085 stands between hopeful actors and their dreams of performing at next year’s Women’s Theatre Festival at Baze University in Abuja, Nigeria, after their play was selected for the event.

Speaking on behalf of the cast of Izibazi Zomendo (Scars of Marriage), the director of the play, Mbali Ndlozi, said: “The theme of the festival is ‘The Struggles Women go Through’, so it is absolutely important for us to be there to share our experiences with this audience.”

The week-long festival takes place in February.

Ndlozi said she grew up in an abusive household, and the play was a step towards her being healed from that, and reclaiming her sanity.

“I witnessed my mother getting beaten up by my father almost every night, and it really affected my brother and I. As an adult I had this misplaced anger.

“I guess I never got closure, and this is what the play is intended to do.”

The Xiluva Collective, a group of actors, said they had been unable to secure funding for the cast to attend the festival.

Ndlozi said she had launched a career as a director with the play, which was “an opportunity to tell my story as a woman without men dominating”. The festival, one of the most prestigious in Nigeria, was an important opportunity for her and the cast to showcase their stories and talent in one of the most prestigious festivals in Nigeria.

Acting was not just a hobby for all the crew members, it was a career and they were also qualified to do so, she said.

The costs which they will incur include travelling, accommodation, costumes, set and props, equipment and materials and labour.

One of the objectives of the festival is to support the various artistically skilled women in creating theatre and performance art by creating a safe space through theatre for their voices, their truths and their stories to be told, Ndlozi said.

It would provide an opportunity for women to dialogue and to explore their societal concerns through art. - African News Agency (ANA)