The first brick of this creative journey is laid when a high school student leaves a prayer meeting and hears the phrase “Son of Man”.
Actually, that’s how stories work; you sit down and either see something, hear about something or experience something, and then it becomes a story. You never know when you’re on the verge of your next best story,”
Theatre director, playwright and Kenya Theatre Awards (KTA) nominee, Marvin Kibicho tells me.
It’s a sunny afternoon and we’re having a candid sit-down at the Wasanii Corner tent within the Kenya National Theatre, centring on how Son of Man Productions came to be and their upcoming show, In Sickness and in Health.
After a recommendation to read Ken Saro-Wiwa’s Africa Kills Her Son, that three-letter word ‘Son’ struck a chord again and inspired him to write his first play- aptly titled Son of Man. First performed at the Deliverance Church Donholm, the play touched the hearts of many, including a youth pastor who requested an iteration of the Last Supper be penned by Kibicho and performed at his church.
Written on a used-up notebook, using no-capped pen, the play inspired a great number of its audience, including a cast member, to give their lives to Christ. This sparked Kibicho’s urge to write stories tIn Sickness and in Health, Son of Man writes on that inspired people’s hearts, be they based on scripture or not.
The connection with Ken Saro-Wiwa’s work would strike again when year later, Gilbert Lukalia performed Africa Kills Her Son, taking Kibicho back into time. Last year, he watched Monologue Ambassadors where, towards the end, Dadson Gakenga performs a monologue from Ken Saro-Wiwa’s Africa Kills Her Son. Again.
They were not coincidences”,
Kibicho enthuses, adding that inspiration can come from anywhere.
This Valentine’s season, he seeks to inspire and impact society through cancer awareness. It is a topic that has been nagging him since he watched a news segment on the effect cancer has among the less-privileged in society, often exacerbated by the perception that the disease affects only the well-to-do.
In Sickness and in Health lands at the Ukumbi Mdogo stage on February 10th and 11th, 2024, hoping to address how we treat and support patients, caregivers, and to what extent we, ourselves, are psychologically prepared to handle the disease.
One of the things we wanted to address is how prepared are you to be faithful to the person that you’re with, in sickness and in health and what greater sickness could there be than a sickness that you did not ask for, you didn’t see coming, you cannot even be able to treat and there is no guarantee you’ll get out of? If someone can truly love another person within that situation then that is true love, no matter how fleeting it may be, no matter how superficial it may be,”
the KTA nominee for Best Playwright – Original Script, explains.
He hopes that after walking out of the Ukumbi Mdogo auditorium, viewers will be inspired to go for a cancer screening.
Son of Man’s, In Sickness and in Health premieres February 10th and 11th, 2024 at Ukumbi Mdogo, Kenya Cultural Centre. Nyakua tikiti yako sasa hivi via http://mookh.com
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Article Edited by @peterndoria