n African Performance Review - To outwit or not to outwit censorship in Malawi : university theatre and Banda's policies in the 1970s

Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1753-5964


This paper is about ways in which drama created by members of the University of Malawi's Chancellor College Travelling Theatre, in conjunction with the Writers' Workshop, responded to the oppressive policies of Hastings Kamuzu Banda in the 1970s. James Gibbs, Patience Gibbs, Chris Kamlongera, David Kerr and Lupenga Mphande have written about the subject in their respective studies. What makes their articles different is that they wrote while Banda was alive and their commentary and analyses were limited for fear of reprisals both for the dramatists and themselves as critics. Written twelve years since Banda was ousted from power by multi-party stalwarts, and nine years after his death, the present article is able to make direct commentary through an exploration of Lance Ngulube's Innocent Banda's and Dede Kamkondo's ; a sample that brings out new insights about the way the dramatists outwitted Banda's censors and staged their plays, or directly confronted Banda's policies and their drama never saw the light of the stage. made it through the Censor's watchful eye while and were spotted from a distance.

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