Day 28

Today was our opening night and debut performance of Shangaa at the Zanzibar Film Festival, and I’m filled with so much excitement and gratitude. We put in so much work to devise these pieces in only one month and I’m so proud of what we’ve done. I’m extremely grateful for the group of people I’ve worked with, these beautiful, giving artists, my newfound friends, what I’ve learned about the world, and what I’ve learned about myself. At the end of the performance, I was chosen to be briefly interviewed by the biggest news station in Tanzania! Our specific play, “Nisikilize,” which means Hear Me in Swahili, told the story of a young girl, Malaika, with cerebral palsy whose father was a witchdoctor. Her favorite celebrity, Lady Oa, visits her father, and its up to Malaika to save her from the “monsters” of her past. Lady Oa represented many of the women whose stories we heard throughout our journey in Tanzania. From the street child that has survival sex to the woman hoaxed into having sex with a witchdoctor, we exposed the common issues women unfortunately face in Tanzanian society. I’m honored to have shared this story with an international audience and I look forward to seeing how people perceive it in New York City!

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