Thursday, November 26, 2009

MoFaya, They call it slum, we call it home

So finally the musical, MoFaya landed in Kenya, after its huge debut in LA, wonder why they thought of taking it to NY first yet it is Kenyan. Anyway that aside it was long since I attended a play and when I heard about MoFaya, I thought maybe I should check it out despite thinking that it would be a flop, but again I thought its Eric Wainaina!

MoFaya Rocks!! Actually thats an understatement, it blows all thats to be blown away! Its a masterpiece. The combination of Eric Wainaina, John Sibi Okumu, Valerie Kimani, Atemi Oyungu aka Chizi, Mumbi Kaigwa who are among the who is who in Kenya arts scene brings some of the best of what Kenya has to offer in terms of plays.

So much has been said about the post election violence and the poor being taken for a ride, but nothing has been put on stage as musical, as satirical, as funny and as sobering as MoFaya. Right from the intro by Chizi, the music led by Eric Wainaina and Valerie Kimani and the prowess of the actors, the musical grips the viewer by the balls and keeps him glued to his seat. It takes the viewer through the Kenyan experience in a short 2 hours, from the common man trying to make a living by exploiting the water shortage situation, to the waheshimiwas with their grand corruption plans, from the ambitious young man with a college degree and a hot gal, to the home thug who's always contended with being the "kanda ya moko" of the mheshimiwa. In its own satirical, funny and sobering message one cant help but just realise how we are all like each other, trying to make living, only others are straight while others will bend and break all laws to man just to get the extra shilling.

One constant thought at the back of my mind that I cant shrug off is why this masterpiece cant be taken to the slums, where people cant clearly see through the lines, yet it is based on the life in the slum. After all these successful runs, it would hurt a bit to at least enlighten the slum dwellers who need this information the most.