Drama Remembering our girls

Remembering our girls

The international award -winning production,  The Girls, is a devastating  retelling of the abduction of  one of the 139 school girls from  Northern Uganda in 1996. The  play also refers to the many women abducted by Boko Haram in Nigeria last year Thirteen years after her abduction in Aboke in Uganda,  schoolgirl Ann manages to  escape in the chaos created  during a helicopter attack by  the Ugandan army.

Buhle Nkomo performs in The Girls. The Girls is an international award-winning drama that centres on the 139 girls who were abducted on October 9th, 1996 from their boarding school in Uganda. Photo: CuePix/Pearla Berg

Buhle Nkomo performs in The Girls. The Girls is an international award-winning drama that centres on the 139 girls who were abducted on October 9th, 1996 from their boarding school in Uganda. Photo: CuePix/Pearla Berg

She tells  how she and the other girls  were assigned as wives to rebel  commanders, who raped and  abused them.  “We were brainwashed,  abused, made to believe that  Joseph Kony was a disciple of  God and we were his angels,”  Ann says.  We also hear the suffering of  the perpetrators, as 14-year-old  Norman tells how he is forced  to join the Lord’s Resistance  Army (LRA), Kony’s Christianity professing  terror group.

He  is forced to prove himself by  taking part in the abduction of  the girls, but later escapes from  the army.  The school’s principal nun,  Sister Rachel, in an act of  extraordinary courage, follows  the abductors, on a journey  that takes her face-to-face  with Kony and his army. She  pleads with him and eventually  manages to secure the release  of the majority of the girls.

Durban-based directors  Jerry Pooe and Roel Twijnstra  believe that theatrical  productions such as The Girls  have a responsibility to keep  the conversations alive about  the ongoing challenges faced  by children affected by civil  wars.  “When dozens of heavily  armed Boko Haram extremists  abducted scores of young  women and girls in April last  year, the media went berserk,”  Pooe says. “But now, no one  talks about it anymore.”  “That is what we are trying  to achieve with this play. We  want to remind society that  those girls out there are just not  numbers.

We need to be more  interactive, and we certainly  need to intervene as much as  we can,” he says.  This production is marked  by its thought-provoking script  and harmonious singing.

Lesedi Ntuli
Cue student reporter

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