Conservation and the Environment
Seka was born out of the Community Outreach Programme (November 1999 – November 2000); a project initiated by Africa Resources Trust and Theatre for Africa. This programme spanned seven Southern African countries (Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe) and used a unique combination of theatre and facilitation to address grassroots environmental issues with the focus on Community Based Natural Resource Management. The programme then took the voice of the common people from these countries and created and presented a play to policy makers and stakeholders throughout southern Africa. Since then Seka has conducted various environmental projects:
Article, ‘Using Theatre in Participatory Environmental Policy Making’ (2006)?This article was published in the PLA 55: practical tools for community conservation in southern Africa edition of the iied (International Institute for Environment & Development) journal in December 2006
Anti Litter Campaign (February, March, August – November 2007)?In late 2006 Seka was approached by Chief Kakumbi in Eastern Zambia to create a play to tackle the increasing litter problem in the area. Finding sponsorship from National Breweries, Seka researched and created a play on this topic and performed ten shows to over 3,600 people. The success of this project led to a wider programme, where a new play was developed and performed country wide, reaching a total of over 11,200 people. Various solutions, from litter bins to clean up campaigns are now being implemented.
Mid Zambezi Elephant Project (June 2002 to December 2005)?Commissioned by the Mid Zambezi Elephant Project (MZEP) and funded by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Seka created a play to introduce the concept of using chilli peppers to deter elephants from people’s villages and crops. In addition to Seka created the play and trained groups from Zambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Gabon to put this play into practice.
Land Use Planning (2001 – 2003)?Funded by World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Seka, in conjunction with The Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) created plays to tackle the sensitive and highly politicised issue of land use in the Game Management Areas of the South Luangwa National Park. They used theatre as a means to promote a message as well as find out people’s views on this issue. Contributed to people’s change in awareness on Land Use Planning issues. Also created a play and performed to the annual key stakeholder meeting.
HIV/AIDS Sankhani Moyo (Choose Life) (February 2006 – present)
This play was originally created for the Zambia Wildlife Authority to sensitise the Wildlife Police Officers on HIV/AIDS. Once this programme was successfully completed, the play was then adapted to perform to the staff at various safari lodges and local businesses as part of their “HIV in the Workplace” programme. The huge success of the play has encouraged us to seek further funding and to continue performing it in villages throughout Mfuwe.
The play deals with the importance of knowing one’s status, positive living and de-stigmatisation. It also advertises the new VCT centre at the nearby hospital which we provide transport to when possible. To date more than 40 people have attended VCT after our performances. We rely on donations from the tourist trade to carry out these activities.
Seka has worked on numerous projects in Zambia and Tanzania on issues concerning the rights of children.
50% Campaign (October 2010 to September 2013)
Currently Seka is conducting the awareness raising campaign for the Tanzanian National 50% Campaign under Caucus for Children’s Rights. Seka created a vibrant and energetic play about the rights of children. There are two casts performing this play and they are touring the country with each cast performing twice a day, five days a week for six months.
Tulinde Watoto Sasa! (October 2008 – present)
Seka has worked with Mkombozi training street children and vulnerable youth in various aspects of theatre including acting, props making, puppetry and physical theatre. Seka has created three plays for Mkombozi to raise awareness on child abuse and the plight of street children.
RECLAIM (Combatting Child Labour through Education in Mozambique) (September, December 2006)
Seka was contracted by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) to train a local theatre company in Mozambique on action research and awareness performance methodology in relation to child labour and education issues. This included training in action research, in participatory drama, three participatory awareness raising performances based on action research in three target communities as well as creation of codes of conduct for actors, guidelines for how to conduct performances, action research and script framework.
Kawaza School Project (July, August 2006)
Produced an Educational Needs Assessment of Nsefu Chiefdom and an Evaluation of the Kawaza School Project, to assess the degree to which objectives of the Kawaza School Project have been achieved and to help identify areas of good performance and areas where project implementation can be improved. It also serves as an assessment of the educational needs of Nsefu Chiefdom for future development. To view this document, go to the Kawaza website by clicking here.
BEST CHOICE Campaign (August 2002 – August 2005)?Funded by the US Department of Labour, Seka was a subcontractor to American Institutes for Research (AIR) on this successful child labour and education project. Seka conducted the awareness campaign for the project using action research, participatory theatre, special groups training and radio. Activities included conducting baseline, mid term and final surveys to gauge community awareness on the benefits of education and the negative consequences of child labour and knowledge levels of government policies and laws pertaining to education and child labour; conducting action research to surface all of the factors contributing to child labour and constraining children’s school attendance; creating and performing participatory awareness raising dramas; participating in field worker trainings; conducting special groups training; developing a two year radio programme; and supervising community and school awareness raising activities. Through this campaign Seka has successfully increased awareness, in targeted areas of Chipata District, Eastern Zambia on the difference between Child Labour and Child Work; the negative effects of Child Labour on the child, their family and the community as a whole; age limits for children working; education and labour policies and the benefits of education.
“Traditional Zambia” Book. In 2006/7 Seka undertook the research, logistics and writing for a book on traditional Zambian ceremonies. Sponsored by Celtel Zambia, it is a book about Zambians for Zambians, documenting in pictures and words some of the fantastically colourful ceremonies that Zambia boasts. For more information on this book or to order, click here
International and local performances
The group has also taken the voice of South Luangwa, Zambia to international environmental conferences, performing tailor made plays at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg South Africa, the World Parks Congress in Durban South Africa and the World Conservation Congress in Bangkok in November.
Njala At the World Summit for Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, Seka presented Njala. Njala told the heroic journey of a subsistence farmer from Malambo (the area surrounding the South Luangwa National Park), who rises to the challenge of voicing the concerns of his community at the WSSD. Using a range of theatrical techniques, from traditional song, dance and storytelling to puppetry, the production wowed audiences at the IUCN Environment Centre. The message at the heart of the story reminds the audience that sustainable use processes are inextricably linked with culture, and advocates the use of appropriate communication systems. In addition another two short plays were created and performed at the Summit. The three plays were performed at the IUCN environment centre and the community kraal as well as for the IUCN forestry programme of the congress, for over 700 people. Seka brought the voice of Malambo to an international audience. They took part in discussions for ‘local voices global choices’ and were nominated for the prestigious Equator Initiative Awards.
Nsendemila :Nsendemila was created for and performed at the World Parks Congress in Durban, South Africa. The play was researched in the area and created with grassroots input. It explored the complex relationships between the various stakeholders in the area and provided a hilarious and insightful look at the lives of people in the Malambo community. The play encompassed the five principles of governance based on UN principles: Legitimacy and voice, accountability, performance, fairness, direction. They performed 7 times for the governance stream of the World Parks Congress as well as for the community kraal. Performed and participated in debate.
The Fence; Where are we Going; Lost Paradise?Performing under the name of KampuchAfrique, Seka was involved a collaboration with various southern African artists and Cambodian theatre company called Sovanna Phum, for the World Conservation Congress in Bangkok. These three productions brought together a unique blend of Asian and African artistic traditions, telling the story of their communities and delivering a message to the Congress on their behalf through song, dance, story telling, humour and music.
Kusanga :Performed for tourists visiting the South Luangwa National Park, Zambia, our latest play Kusanga is a celebration of dance, mime, song and storytelling. It is a charming tale of family, animals and life’s lessons. A man teaches his niece the ways of old and how to gain wisdom and understanding by observing the animals, trees, insects and birds of the bush that surround them. The girl learns lessons from the cunning honey badger and honey-guide team, from the patient fish eagle, the majestic kudu, the stubborn warthog and many many more! This play has been performed in Zambia, South Africa, Denmark and Sweden.