This is a progress report on the project Wanjiku and I [Martyn Sanderson] have been working on for the past year - as you'll see, we haven't given up on Muntu. We are getting lots of enthusiasm from African youths eager to be in an African play, and support from the community and professional actors willing to work for nothing, but so far we've been turned down by all the funders we've applied to, including Creative NZ.
Our Africa Connection Aotearoa trust is bringing playwright, director, actor, artist and educator Wakanyote Njuguna from Kenya to direct the superb classic Muntu (Mankind) by Ghanaian playwright Joe de Graft, with a mixed cast of Africans, Toi Whakaari students and volunteer professionals, to be performed in Wellington, Lower Hutt and Otaki.
We've taken a small mortgage to cover Wakanyote's airfare, and we are writing to all our friends and acquaintances to ask if they can help with a donation towards the costs of Sharing the Safari.
Please pass it on to any of your friends who might be interested!
Muntu tells in dramatic form the whole history of Africa. We've chosen it to give New Zealanders a deeper understanding of the background of the Africans now living amongst them, and young Africans here a proud sense of their cultural roots. As Muntu and his children tell us: If all mankind suffers together, the individual does not suffer.
While here in September and October, Wakanyote will also give public talks and poetry readings, meet with local writers, artists and refugee and migrant communities, in Wellington and Kapiti, Auckland, Whangarei and Hokianga. He will take a workshop with Taki Rua, and in Auckland will give a talk at the university and korero with Te Arapiki and Banana Boat.
This is the beginning of an important journey of cultural exchange between Africa and Aotearoa.
We'd be delighted to have you join us on this safari.
A cheque payable to Africa Connection Aotearoa can be sent to:
39 Te Manuao Road, Otaki 5512.
Online donations can be made to our Kiwibank account: 389006 0550290 00,
or by credit card: go to www.givealittle.co.nz and search: Sharing the Safari.
The Trust is registered to receive tax deductible donations.
thank you very much,
Wanjiku and Martyn