[Event Review] Impeccable Storytelling, Music, Dance, Drama and Comedy At Pambazuka 2015.

A team of young actors and actresses during the One Love Church Pambazuka theatrical.

A team of young actors and actresses during the One Love Church Pambazuka theatrical. (Pic by: Pitman Photography) 

One Love Church together with the weekly Prime Time event team put together one of the most epic shows on Sunday the 13th at the Makerere Main Hall, Ivory tower. Below is a narrative of what took place as told by one of our guest writers. 

Entering the main hall, there were posters displaying Community, ‘Africaness’, Revival and Mentorship. These represent the DNA of One Love Church. If you would like to know more about that, please tweet @onelovemuk! But that aside, the stage was decorated with a rainbow coloured curtain with “PAMBAZUKA” at the very top. There was no mistaking what it was all about.

The production begun at a few minutes past 3:30pm with the SAWA team (an acronym for Shout Africa Worship Arts) leading the audience through the anthems; National anthem and Makerere anthem, in that order followed by a worship song (that sounded pretty much like an anthem.. I swear!)

A team of musicians sing their hearts out at Pambazuka 2015.

A team of musicians sing their hearts out at Pambazuka 2015.

Students and young adults watching the Pambazuka 2015 play. (Pic by: Pitman Photography)

Students and young adults watching the Pambazuka 2015 play. (Pic by: Pitman Photography)

After a declaration of scripture, the curtains were drawn to reveal the SAWA team clad in typical African print attire. They led in Praise and Worship and all the songs were African. Bob Ambrose (@unclebobuganda ) who is no stranger to Primetime and One love Church then took to the stage to welcome everybody,. He made special mention of St Francis chapel and a couple of representatives from the churches were present. He treated us to a joke and then announced the next item.

Prime Time Dancers Graced The Pambazuka Play Stage. (Picture Source: @PrimeTimeMUK)

Prime Time Dancers Graced The Pambazuka Play Stage. (Picture Source: @PrimeTimeMUK)

The Primetime dance crew then took the stage, true to the African theme and wowed us with a traditional upbeat dance after which we were ushered into the first scene of #Pambazuka2015. This scene showed a girl in the village of Kyalintale being celebrated by all the villagers for being the first person to be admitted to the prestigious Makerere University. The cast was hilarious, the mother and Chairperson LC5 really did it for me. It turns out that Pambazuka Eva was the lady blessed enough to get into the Ivory Tower. She was portrayed as a humble girl from a humble home with a young brother in P3 called Kikomeko. The village community enriched her with advice and gifts like a Jerry can of bushera (a local drink) and a basket of groundnuts to carry to campus. (ha ha) and the scene ended with a mini dance party and the theoretical slaughtering of goats and hens. *chuckles*

The dance crew then took to the stage with a Rukiga dance to the tune of B-Lyre’s “Kyo Yamawe. It got the crowd swaying to graceful steps of the ladies on stage.

Then scene 2 comes next. In this scene, Pambazuka is seen carrying luggage: A new mattress and thin blanket, while her brother carries a battered metallic suitcase and is accompanied by her parents. They are led into a room with three empty beds where the custodian ushered them into the hall, which he called Africa hall. She is visibly awed by what she saw and can’t hold back her excitement! She is now a new student at Makerere University, doing a BA in Law.

When the whole village shared in Pambazuka's success anf wished her well at University. (Picture Source: @PrimeTimeMUK)

When the whole village shared in Pambazuka’s success and wished her well at University. (Picture Source: @PrimeTimeMUK)

After the introductions, a fashionable lady with the typical rich girl attitude walks into the room and fails to  hide her disgust for all the ‘village’ people in the room. Pambazuka is quick to introduce herself with genuine joy but the reaction she received was far worse than she expected and is intentionally ignored. She calls for her luggage, and the audience is treated to a load of expensive and luxurious items, a stark contrast to Pamba’s humble belongings. Her father pulls her aside and warns her, that if her attitude ever even thought of becoming like that lady’s, she would be slaughtered. This incited laughter in the audience. The third roomate then walks in, and it turns out that she knew Delilah from way back. Precious, (the new entrant) then chat and later invite Pamba for a night out to which she declines.

A couple of years later, we see two guys , Tom and Disan talking about class and the latter reminiscing on Pamba’s earlier years at school with the village behavior. It is revealed that Pamba is the best in class, but has been cutting class. Tom, is also reveled to be crushing on Pamba and is advised by Disan to ask her out later on, because they are headed to his girlfriend’s (Delilah) room. In summary, it didn’t work our well for Tom *insert awww* but he did keep trying.

Two of the main male actors at Pambazuka. (Pic by Pitman Photography)

Two of the main male actors at Pambazuka. (Pic by Pitman Photography)

It turns out that, Precious had gotten saved at Primetime and had left her wayward ways, but Dellah had instead recruited Pamba and tutored her in her ways. She had a sugar daddy and convinced Pamba that if she got one, she’d be sorted financially just like she is. She had a string pf boyfriends. All for a specific purpose. Precious’ pleas to Pamba fell on deaf ears. The scene ended with Pamba and Delilah on their way out to party.

After scene two, we saw the dance crew take the stage in hip attire. Black shirts and blue jeans. Something for the dot.com generation but still true to the African theme, we heard the Sinach’s ” I Know Who I Am” play.

Recently married comedian, Uncle Bob cracked a few jokes before ushering in the next scene. The curtains were drawn to reveal Precious complaining about the disorganisation of the room (well, she was quite meticulous) and after settling down there was a knock at the door and in walks a very old, rich-looking man with two ladies by his side. I believe you already know who they are: yes, Dellah and Pamba (now Ivy- the name change was to suit her new status). The audience had a momental gasp as they walked in. It was a stark contrast to the humble, simple lady who walked into the room years ago. She seemed comfortable with Mr Okello or O.K as he preferred to be called. The two excanged hugs and good byes while the latter handed Ivy a present – a new Samsung Note. The joy on her face was beyond description. Dellah just smiled and gave her a high-five…she was a fast learner! Precious couldn’t hold back her concern and confronted Pamba. She appreciated the concern but stated that it was her life and she could do whatever she wanted now that she was at campus. When Precious pleaded with her, Dellah decided to butt in the conversation. It wasn’t long before it became so heated that the voices went 5 pitches higher than usual. I was tempted to shut my ears, the mics did more harm than good that time. Thankfully it didn’t last long. The whole time however, Pamba kept watching them with amusement. It was funny how in the beginning, she (their ridicule for her to be specific) is what  bonded the two together and now she is what’s tearing them apart. It ended and Precious stormed out of the room to the library.

These two stayed back and recollected over the events of the day. No sooner had Pamba asked about Dellah’s string of boyfriends than they heard a knock at the door. Pamba then peeps through the window, and true to the English saying, ‘speak of the devil’, it was none other than Disan and Tom at the door! They fidgeted around the room before jumping right into their beds respectively!  It was quite a sight, seeing two grown ladies dive under the covers. This had the audience in stitches. After shouting for the guys to come in, they get in and the look of concern was unmistakable. The Dellah and Pamba (now Ivy)  were quick to say that they were sick and read the whole night respectively. They then inquired about the courseworks and using her charm , Dellah convinced Disan to do hers and get her some food. Ivy, got a hint and did the same to Tom and like the  helpless lamb that he was, readily agreed to get her all the food she had asked for. The two guys then walked our and the ladies each other a high five. The look of accomplishment on Dellah’s face said it all-  she had done it. They went off to shower and freshen up for the afternoon lectures.

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Lost in the music, a dancer during Pambazuka. (Pitman Photography)

Lost in the music, a dancer during Pambazuka. (Pitman Photography)

Later in the evening, Precious gets back and is gathering her books when there is a knock at the door. Opening it, it revealed a young, shabbily dressed poor boy with over sized clothes and canvas shoes carrying a huge basket of sugar cane, greens, and avocado. This little boy was Kikomeko, Pamba’s younger brother. He had come to deliver the aforementioned items to her. Precious warmly welcomed him and offered him tea and bread which he readily ate. His Runyakole (one of Uganda’s languages) accent and broken English sent waves of laughter through the crowd as he struggled to eat, drink and talk about the awe and wonders of the city. It was rather comical. Pamba and Dellah then walked in and the two relatives embraced each other. However, it was short-lived when O.K came into the room.  The ladies were going on another night out. He quickly ridiculed the shabby young man so deeply engrossed in his meal and the ladies readily agreed. Pamba called her own brother a sales boy. Precious wasn’t amused.  They walked out and it was time for him to head home. He however had no transport because Pamba was supposed to furnish him with it. Precious was kind enough to give him all he needed and some extra too as well as some juice and Bread. He was only too glad for her kindness and after a series of  grammatical errors and silent chuckles, Kikomeko headed back to Kyalintale.

Kikomeko, one of the characters in the play. (Pitman Photography)

Kikomeko, one of the characters in the play. (Pitman Photography)

Pamba later came back to the room, and Precious rebuked her for her terrible behavior towards  her brother but she brushed it off saying what matters is that he is back home now and its her life, she shouldn’t be policed around.  A package then arrived for her; a bouquet of beautiful red roses and a letter. You guessed it, from O.K. She hurriedly left Precious and opened the letter. In it O.K revealed his love and appreciation that last night, that first time for them (read between the lines). He also explained that he enjoyed it. That he would be our of the country and his phone would be off. He also dropped the proverbial piano on her head by revealing that he was positive…as in  HIV+ (pun intended) Nanti Ivy..get it?? Ha ha. Anyway, she was displeased she resolved to keep living her life away, no matter what. It was a sad sight.

The scene then ended and Betty came on stage with a beautiful solo dance to the tune of Vicky Sampson’s African Dream. It was my personal favorite honestly, and the song has been on repeat since then 😊 After which we had the last scene.

In the last scene, the curtains reveal a sickly young lady, coughing without end. Her mother, patting her and never leaving her side and a father so disappointed and sad that he couldn’t go near her. He left the room where a clearly suffering Pamba lay with her mum. He wondered why it had to come to this. Later, Precious and Tom joined him. They had been looking for the house hoping to see Pamba. Her father launched into a series of stories about the current generation and ended with advice to them to choose their paths wisely. They were let in to see Pamba. She expressed her regret between fits of coughing and wished she could turn around and be successful like they were. Precious used the opportunity to share about Christ and lead her to say the sinners prayer. However, towards the end of it, Pamba coughed so much that she could barely talk and amidst pleading and anxiety couldn’t struggle anymore..she breathed her last and collapsed in Precious arms. It was a sombre mood as her wailing made rounds through the hall. Tom, with his hands on his head could not say a thing. Dejected and sad, they bowed their heads in tears and the curtains drew.

That moment when Pambazuka breathed in her last and gave up the ghost. (Pitman Photography)

That moment when Pambazuka breathed in her last and gave up the ghost. (Pitman Photography)

Ps Amon Bwengye, a pastor at One Love Church Makerere took the stage and elaborated more on the just ended production. He told of the choices and dreams that we have when we get to campus only for them to end so terribly. He encouraged us with his personal story (very touching story) and concluded that its Jesus who got him back on track towards his dream to be a lawyer (which he currently is). He ended with an altar call that saw people give their lives and recommit to Christ. It was a beautiful time, and he said that these souls were what the production was all about. He pronounced a blessing and thus ended a wonderful, entertaining yet educational evening.

Written by: Faith Munezero

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