The Sunday News
Ngqwele Dube, Life Correspondent
LEADING Theatre practitioner, Lady Tshawe is set to lead a Nhimbe Trust collaboration with United Kingdom’s Lyric Hammersmith Theatre that brings together young black women in a digital storytelling production.
Creating work that explores themes of womanhood, identity and race, Lady Tshawe, together with UK-based theatre director and writer Monique Touko will lead a series of workshops throughout May.
According to Nhimbe: “In response to Black Lives Matter and events of 2020 including the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the online collaboration will provide young women (aged between 18 and 25) the agency, power and platform to share their voice and stories with others who are experiencing the same issues from the other side of the globe.”
Online workshops will run simultaneously from London and Bulawayo as participants come together to create monologues inspired by their individual experiences yet which will be performed by their counterpart overseas.
The monologues created through the workshops will be filmed and shared online and available to watch in July.
Lady Tshawe said she believes the exchange will not only foster working relationships between the participants but will inspire them to explore and challenge themselves creatively.
Touko said the collaboration provides a great opportunity for young black women to develop skills in playwriting, creative writing and performance and also explore their identity in their home country and empathise with those based in their partner nation.
“I hope they will feel emboldened through this exchange of ideas and feel a strengthened sense of community.
Personally too, Bulawayo is the birthplace of my mother and a place I hold dear to my heart. The opportunity to make and create cross-culturally particularly at this time is beyond exciting.
“In addition, being a Black woman is beautiful and complex and exploring it in this way in the shadows of Black Lives Matter feels right and highly nourishing,” she said.
This project is led in partnership by the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre and Nhimbe Trust and is funded by British Council as part of their Digital Collaboration and Storytelling Grants scheme. The collaboration is titled “Here, There, Now”, an international storytelling project between young women actors of Bulawayo and West London, in partnership with the Lyric Hammersmith Theatre of London, UK, under Nhimbe’s long-running Women in Theatre and Television programme.