Thespian evangelises on theatre stage

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Mamohlakola Letuka

A LOCAL pastor and thespian, Gonzales Mosiuoa Scout recently ran a two-legged series of his play Stupid Pride at Café What? and the British Library in Maseru.

While, the man of cloth attests that his aim is to evangelise, his self-written and directed play takes a dig at local politicians depicting them as prideful leaders who are devoid of the people’s mandate.

In one scene, the play explores Lesotho’s leaders and alleges that the country has party-hopping politicians who are uneducated but still demanded positions in government as either ambassadors or ministers.

In one of the lines, the character points out: “Jobs are used as a reward for those that danced the most at rallies”.

The play revolves around the main theme of pride and explores the depths at which some people go disregarding the forms of assistance on offer for them.

The satire was presented with a simple set that had minimal props while the dimly lit stage aided the portrayal of different scenes.

In the first scene, Scout tells a story of a discontented man who despite his dire situation, he continues to demand the best of treatment.

He takes a slur at drivers who pass without noticing him until a small truck stops for him and he retorts he is not interested leaving the audience aghast.

While the pride in him screams he is unfazed, he immediately starts to lament that he is running out of time.

His antics continue when another truck drives by and the driver offers him a lift. Arrogantly, he declines and says he does not want half a lift and only agrees to board when the driver makes a promise that he would drop him at his exact destination.

However, as he is loads his luggage onto the car, he infuriates the driver by demanding that the passenger sitting in the front sit makes way for him as he cannot sit in the back.

A quarrel ensues and the driver speeds off with his luggage after he is challenged to a fist fight and he leaves the man destitute.

In other scenes of the one hander, the man’s life takes a downturn as he continues to demand the best of treatment unbefitting of his situation.

In an interview on the side-lines of the play, Scout said the play is meant to portray how decisions impact people’s future.

“The show is a mirror that shows how people’s attitude and approach to life can impact them,” Scout said.

“It shows how our leaders are chosen, and that as the country we are filled with rage and pride and we lack Innovation.”

Towards the end, the actor remembers a scripture that he once heard during a crusade in his village of how Jesus hated pride and decided become a born-again Christian.

“This scene was meant to show that when all has failed, there is still one who would help and that is Christ the lord,” Scout said.

Speaking of the status of the theatre industry in the country, he said there were a lot of artistes who are more concerned about fame but they lack passion.

“Many people love the fame but do not have the passion. For me I have always loved theatre from my childhood,” he said.

He said he started performing in church but grew through the assistance of his high school teacher, Zakes Mda who mentored him.

He said during his journey he has faced challenges such as lack of support from the government and private sectors but said he continues to believe in the country’s potential.

Scout believes that there are better actors than him who have not reached their potential but with the right mentorship and passion they would develop the theatre industry in the country.

“Actors need to prove their worth to those that support them financially and ensure that they make a mark before the get assistance,” Scout said.

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