Why me? The theatre was silent

Thursday, 11 November 2004 00:00 Written by  Carol Natukunda

It is a sigh of regret. Will your husband understand? And to be honest, he too tells you the child does not belong to him! He beats you up, but the Police come in time to rescue you. But even after he has been released, he insists he cannot keep in a home with a crippled child.

So, you later throw your very own crippled child on the street, who, 15 years later, is raped, gets pregnant and gives birth as she laments, Why me? Why me? is a drama that portrays the plight of people living with disability in any social environment.
It reveals unfair treatment people give to the crippled, lame, deaf or even dumb children.

During the launch of the Silent Theatre at the Uganda National Association of the Deaf (UNAD) offices in Kampala recently, the actors, most of them deaf, used sign language on stage. We have come up with a Silent Theatre because our drama is acted by the deaf and there is no voice, says Alex Ndeezi, the UNAD executive director. He says the play, Why me? is to inform, educate and ensure behavioural and attitude change among the hearing. People pick messages from drama so easily, Ndeezi says, we are working hard to ashame those who think we are stupid. He says the Why me? drama group had a one-month training in Sweden.

To him, teamwork was a paramount aspect as far as the success of the drama as concerned. Our Swedish friends helped us to come up with this drama, Ndeezi says. It would not come out the way it has had it been a one man's work. He also attributes their success to prayer. Rev. David Bulime has been leading us in prayer, and everything has moved on smoothly, Ndeezi says.

The group will stage shows in several districts, theatres, schools and institutions. This is just the beginning, he says, if they do not display the drama, it will be nothing and it will be wasted. Florence Mukasa, the UNAD's project coordinator, says the organisation has helped the deaf to train and develop presentations about HIV/AIDS awareness. There should be nothing without act, she says.
The group praises the special news transmission for the deaf on the national television, to which Mukasa says, has taught even the hearing people sign language.

Source: The New Vision

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