Theatre paBridge takes shape
Theatre ensemble, Edzai Isu Trust has begun a clean-up campaign at the Machipisa Bridge in Highfield with an intention to establish a community theatre venue named Theatre paBridge at the disused footbridge while maintaining its initial purpose.The project, which has seed funding from Africalia, began with a theatre awareness campaign that is underway around the bridge specifically targeting touts, vendors and passers-by who stand accused of messing the footbridge.Edzai Isu founder and director Tafadza Muzondo said they realised the need for an awareness campaign to the community before the actual clean-up exercise.
“A number of clean up initiatives lack community buy-in and therefore end up as just a once off event as people will continue messing the cleaned space soon after the clean-up if there is no incentive like arts and community activities to stop them from messing the spaces.“We have started with the theatre awareness campaign around the bridge as to challenge the culture of messing then the actual cleaning will be done by community stakeholders under the guidance of cleaning experts from Thursday (tomorrow),” said Muzondo.
The Edzai Isu team, with permission from the City of Harare, is confident that the development initiative to establish a community theatre venue at the footbridge is going to be a huge success and the theatre would be up and running by November 16.Some of the touts who participated during the awareness campaign decried the lack of ablution facilities at the shopping centre as the major driver of the messy at the bridge.
Muzondo said after the clean-up, a ground breaking ceremony will be held on October 26 (in commemoration of World Development Information Day) and the renovations immediately start so that the trust is able to launch the theatre on November 16, which will be International Day of Tolerance.
“Theatre in particular and other forms of arts in general have been useful in disseminating development information hence our aim to have the ground breaking done around World Development Information Day which is a UN International Day commemorated annually on October 24,” he said.Constructed in 1998 to link the then new bus station and supermarkets at Machipisa, the footbridge is a lovely piece of infrastructure that failed to serve its purpose and has been reduced to a public toilet and a haven for drug abusers.