Ngwaci Nduru by Johari Five

Imagine its June the 24th and you are there minding your own business….. scratch that, its your birthday so there is nothing but minding your own business when the gifts start flowing….

First in line is your favourite theatre group  giving you  a pair of tickets to watch their show and from that it can only get better.

You hit up your cousin who agrees a ticket should never be wasted and especially so on a Sunday afternoon…..

Let the imagination rest as yours truly is now  at Phoenix theatre for Johari Five’s “Ngwaci Nduru” (Bitter sweet potato) on Sunday the  28th June.

Directed by the very able Trizah Kabue, assisted by Lawrence Murage (the two act in the play too) the play is produced by Gacheru wa Ngeeru and the message  too clear on why Ngwaci ni Nduru….(loose translation….things are thick)

The first scene is on the troubles of raising girls in this day and age a fete made more difficult by having four diverse daughters under one roof…The protective mother in her nature does her best which includes providing  choices on ways of death for neighborhood boys she finds messing with her daughters.

An office scene and the not so joys of having the husbands “mpango wa kando” working in the same company where the wife is the boss takes the scene two. The woman boss with all her niceness gets thrashing from the husband who is a school drop out something that had an audience member shout “tosha”. The driver with the head shake gets the crown in this scene.

Question: Any guesses why scene three was my most favourite scene?

You’re right. THE SARCASM. Women here took up predominantly male jobs(mechanic, cobbler,bodaboda riders….you get the drift) while having their lazy jobless husbands  manage and budget all their earnings. The sarcasm in this scene was palpable which explains why its still playing in my head.

A boring (balling for those who are not from Kikuyu land) “mheshimiwa” facilitated by the wife’s chama money makes the entrance to a night club in thee last scene. A classic example of how  whoever has the money calls the shots  jokes included and the lesser mortals howl like hyenas, funny or not plays here. The mheshimiwa plays “sponsor” but not for too long before the wife  from Nyeri as explained by later unfoldings checks in. She is all teary with pleas to get her money back to feed the kids. untill the Nyeri in her checks in.  Take the woman from Nyeri in news saying “tutakata tu” and give her a knife and kata she does(the one in the play that is). I dart my eyes around the hall and the shock when the “transformer” is held up all bloodied is too real.  A very  sobering message is delivered at this stage on why “Ngwaci ni Nduru” especially but not limited to Kikuyu land.

(On that note: No questions on whether the cut “transformer” was the real thing. With all that blood lets ask the cast…. )

And of course my favourite lines from this scene

Boy 1: Mko na pombe gani kwa hii club?

Bartender: Tuko na pombe zote

Boy 1 : Tupatie Guinness moja na glass mbili………

The beautiful tunes in between the scenes  are always most  welcome.

To those still not convinced about these plays come listen to  Bruno Mars Grenade done in Kikuyu then we can talk after.

For this play I left the judgement to my cousin(for reason implied earlier) and she gave a  double thumbs up having no other thumbs to raise up.



2 thoughts on “Ngwaci Nduru by Johari Five

  1. This was one of the best shows ever!
    sitting down to get the bitter sweet piece.
    I laughed I cried,I got emotionally mixed up.
    The lesson stood out,its time our men got busy and took up responsibilities.
    Or better still appreciate what their wives are doing for them!
    great cast,
    to the director and assistant director,no doubt you are more than the best team ever!


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