An abused man’s voice can’t be heard out loud even if he expresses words of apprehension with a shaking voice.
This is because most patriarchal societies dismiss men as the perpetrators of Gender Based Violence (GBV), and when a man becomes a victim suffering at the hands of a woman, he is dismissed as weak and a disgrace to his gender.
Due to such misconceptions, many abused men are scared to come out of the shell and speak out about their GBV experiences.
This is something that Lady Tshawe addresses in her latest play Kumnyama, as a heyday norm that the society must do away with.
Kumnyama is written and directed by Tshawe and it features a two-member cast in the names of Mehluli `Gomez` Dube and John Mabuyane.
It will be presented for the first time on 12 August at Bulawayo Theatre.
“This is simply a story on men that are being abused. We often hear the stories of women who are in abusive relationships and households, and rarely do we hear the stories of men in similar situations.
“Kumnyama seeks to start conversations on this other side of GBV. It seeks to shed light and let society know that it is okay for a man to cry, feel and express their emotion and it does not make them any less of a man.
“Through the play, we do not claim to be experts on GBV but we simply seek to bring awareness about it in our communities, especially our African and traditional communities.
“This production hopes to demystify some myths and assist the opening of our minds as Africans to learn more on GBV, appreciate and help men who are in such situations,” said Lady Tshawe.
Tshawe has always tried by all means to come out of the comfort zone whenever she writes and directs a play, her main focus on her productions is advocacy for men’s rights as well as tackling mental health issues.
On Kumnyama, she stretched herself and used only two characters so as not to complicate and unnecessarily compromise the stage with many characters, as she intends to keep things simple and deliver her thematic concerns straight to the point.
“I believed a two-men cast would tell the story better like the way I want it delivered. I wanted to stretch the two actors by using not only their strengths on the stage but also to push them by adding techniques they are generally not used to using while performing.
“Theatre lovers should come prepared to experience a roller coaster of emotions and thought-provoking moments displayed on the play,” said Tshawe.