Over 3000 literature students will today, June 15, be able to watch one of the most interesting and popular literature plays, The Lion and the Jewel performed live at the Uganda National Theatre.

The 1959 play written by Nigerian writer Wole Sonyika is among the books prescribed by the Uganda National Examination Board (UNEB) as part of the O’ Level literature syllabus.

It will be performed by The Foursum, a theatre group that is dedicated to holding practical life skills workshops and highly interactive theatrical shows in primary and secondary schools since last year.

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According to Rogers Williams Mpaata-Otako, an actor and creative director with the Foursum, staging this play will help the students understand the play better.

“Watching it performed live will help the students visualize the text and understand it deeper to enable them answer their final literature exams,” he said.

The play chronicles how Baroka, a wealthy village man fights with Lakunle, a poor but modern teacher over the right to marry a beautiful, yet somewhat egotistical village girl called Sidi, the titular Jewel.

Among the interesting cast are actors Sharon Besige, Joel Okuyo Atiku, Felix Bwanika Baale and Rogers Williams Mpaata-Otako. The play is directed by Louis Muhereza, a script writer with NTV’s Deception TV series. Over 90 schools are expected to attend.

The students will also be given a keynote introduction of the set-play by Patience Itah, a literature teacher at Kings’ College Budo.

Otako urged the public to support theatre because it compliments education.

“The public should know that there is a need to build interests and capacity of Ugandan nationals to start to use theatre as a mode of education. Through this, we will improve on our educational performances in schools.  In the end we shall have not only improved theatre but also individual creativity in schools. Therefore aiding the formation of a holistic student and learner,” he says.

According to Otako, “by engaging in such productions, we create a platform to share theatrical works and trainings in school.”

The play will also be staged at the National Theatre tomorrow and also at the Centre for Performing Arts and Culture (CEPAC) in Jinja.


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