Reviewed by Faith Oneya
The skit was a special treat to the attendees s of the PEN International Kenyan Chapter reading on 21st December 2011 at the Wasanii Restaurant. See details of the reading here http://literarychronicles.wordpress.com/2011/12/21/pen-international-kenya-chapterthomas-sankara-reading-event/
There is always something to be admired about the young woman that overcomes adversity and all manners of gender discrimination to be the best that she can be. There is always something a little more to admire about the young woman that, instead of sitting in a corner folded into a ball of misery and depression, chooses her pen as the spokesperson of the story of her life.
Such is what was the play Gender-Based Discrimination by a group of talented young girls who form the theatre group Survival Girl was all about. The girls are all survivors from Congo in every sense of the word, having been through atrocities that some of us could not even imagine. The young women who are mostly orphans live with their adoptive families and formed the theatre group in order to be able to tell their story and share their talent in acting.
The fifteen-minute skit was scripted in a record three days and was a concerted effort by the whole group. As the title Gender-Based Discrimination suggests, the play captures the plight of the woman in a society that puts the needs of the boy child way above those of the girl child. In the society that the play portrays, where the father (played by the talented Claudia Heda) wants to keep his wife at the ‘soles of his shoes where she belongs’.
The emancipation of the girl child comes soon after when she runs away from home with the help of a friend to get an education and comes back to better the life of the father that had rejected her needs in the first place.
While the storyline is not as fresh as they come and the script quite linear, the play makes for an interesting watch and makes its point with a touch of humour and ease, thus saving the audience from the finger-pointing tendencies of plays that have such themes. Please check out the videos here.