Disability demystified in ‘Narratives from the Dark’

Collen Murahwa Arts Reporter
A play titled “Narratives from the Dark”, which explores a story of a visually-impaired mother living in an unaccommodating society opens at Theatre in the Park on May 25.The play which was written by Major Special Matarirano, directed by Eunice Tava and co-produced by Rooftop promotions, provides a window into the life of Gwen, highlighting the challenges that she faces as a visually-impaired person living in an unaccommodating society and how she has to change her mentality in this fight.

The solo performer, Edith Masango who plays the character of Gwen, noted that she closely relates to her character in the play, as such her role is special to her.

“Having been born partially blind, my eyesight condition gradually intensified when I got pregnant and completely lost my eye sight when I gave birth to my child,” she said.

“The loss of eye sight was attributed to a rare hereditary eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa.” She had to fight various challenges related to her condition.

Her breakthrough in the film industry was when she was invited to train someone to act blind but because of her talent, the director ended up casting her instead. Masango featured in a film titled “The Colour of Blood”, which was shown at the Zimbabwe International Film Festival 2016.

Legarta Kamanda, the dramaturge of the production, said working with Edith has been exciting, insightful and inspiring. “She is bold, smart, cheerful, and charismatic, she masters lines fast and is eager to learn,” she said “She is indeed a star on the rise.”

Courage Chinokwetu, the co-producer added that the protagonist is an epitome of brave women who defied disability to conquer life and its vile. “Edith has defied all odds by reflecting that physical challenges do not deter someone from success, only the sky is the limit,” she said. “She hopes to reach even greater heights as she foresees herself on an international stage in the near future.”

Edith also works as a receptionist and switchboard operator at the Zimbabwe International Film and Festival Trust aided by a computer screen reader program with text-to-speech output. Her life experience has made her stronger and ready to face the world no matter what the circumstance is.

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