By Margaretta wa Gacheru (posted 12 March 2018)
It’s been 20 years since the first V-Day was established, marked by the premier performance of Eve Ensler’s revolutionary production of ‘The Vagina Monologues’.
The V-Monologues shocked, stirred and thrilled a whole generation of women who hadn’t felt free until then to speak publically about domestic violence, leave alone about women’s sexuality and the pain and pleasures of being a woman.
The New York Times described the Monologues as “the most important piece of political theatre of the last decade.”
In the last two decades, The Monologues have been staged tens of thousands of times in communities and on college campuses in over 200 countries around the world, according to Mumbi Kaigwa who was first to stage the all-female production in Nairobi in 2003.
There have been numerous renditions of The Monologues since then. But always, the aim has been to raise awareness, educate a wider public and raise funds to assist domestic violence shelters and rape crisis centers. Worldwide, performances of The Monologues have raised more than $100 million for groups assisting women and girls.
The revenue from the two Nairobi performances of Vagina Monologues being staged this coming Tuesday and Wednesday, March 21st and 22nd at Kenya National Theatre will go to the NGO, ‘Come Together Widows and Orphans Organization’.
CTWO was founded by Diana Kamande who gave a moving account of her work with destitute and dispossessed women and girls last year when The Monologues were staged and funds raised went to provide support for her organization.
This year’s production is being directed by Kaz Lucas who’ll also join with a score of other Kenyan women to give a passionate performance of the script that’s been translated and staged to countless languages.
The other women giving monologues include Mumbi Kaigwa who directed last year’s show, Hana Kefela, Jesse Mungai, June Gachui, Kaz Lucas, Lorna Dias, Lorna Irungu Macharia, Mkamzee Mwatela, Mo Pearson, Nini Wacera, Patricia Amira, Patricia Kihoro, Patricia Waikimba, Savane Kemoli, Seroun Wang’ombe, Shazz, Sheila Munyiva, Silvia Cassini, Sofia Rajah-Leteipan and Suzanne Gachukia-Opembe.
Meanwhile, this weekend, don’t miss ‘Minister Karibu’ being staged at the smaller Kenya National Theatre stage for two days only. Directed by Tash Mitambo, the show has a great cast starring Bilal Wanjau as Winston Churchill Matumbato, Victor Gatonye as GG Muriuki and Susan Kavathe as Mama Toto, just to name a few. The show is political satire at its most biting and hilarious.