The Sunday News
ZIMBABWEAN actress Danai Gurira will journey back in time, as she imagines what her life would have been like if she had been born in her country in the year in 1900 when her play, The Convert, debuts in London later in the year.
Gurira has been flying high over the last few months, having made an appearance in Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, two films that are in the top 10 highest grossing Hollywood movies in Box Office history.
Despite such blockbuster movie appearances and her role in one of the most popular television series, The Walking Dead, Gurira has always maintained her love of theatre, especially theatre that tells a story of her home country and continent.
The Convert, which is being brought to London’s Young Vic Theatre by legendary British actor, playwright and broadcaster Kweyi Kwei-Armah, first debuted in New York’s Broadway in 2016.
The actor and playwright, who took over in February after David Lan stood down after 18 years, said he wanted the theatre to “say something about the world that we live in”.
However, the play also seeks to highlight how the onset of colonialism saw the girl child sandwiched between two cultures, neither of which favoured her.
“Western cultural impositions and Ancient African traditions make strange bedfellows. Never sleeping with both eyes shut for fear the other will strike,” the play’s synopsis reads.
“It’s 1896 in Rhodesia and Jekesai has just been given her new, Catholic name. Chilford, the only black Roman Catholic teacher in the region, has decided she’ll now be known as Ester, wear European clothing and speak only in English. She’s torn away from everything that she knows by her fellow African, who earnestly believes the promises of the White man.