‘Sabhuku Vharazipi’ breaks new ground

By Problem Masau

Hilarious comedy “Sabhuku Vharazipi” continues to break new ground with the play that is now on DVD becoming a favourite for many especially cross-border travellers.

‘Sabhuku Vharazipi’ breaks new ground
‘Sabhuku Vharazipi’ breaks new ground

Most cross-border buses plying their routes to South Africa are screening the street theatre production to entertain their customers. Sadly, the actors of the comedy are not getting anything from the bus operators.

“We understand that the play is being screened in buses, but we are not getting anything. We are so popular in Harare, thanks to piracy, but the fame is not translating to monetary terms,” said David Mubayiwa, who acts as Sabhuku Vharazipi.

The comedy revolves around Sabhuku Vharazipi, a corrupt headman who manipulates the distribution of food and other inputs in his area, to get what he wants, including women.

He uses his position and sharp tongue to seek sexual favours from the women in the village. Sabhuku Vharazipi also uses his position for political mileage and to enrich himself and his family.

He is the door to the village and anyone, either a politician or otherwise, has to pass through him. The headman has positioned himself such that every activity in the village has to be “okayed’’ by him and in the process leaves him well off.

The play is a socio-political comedy touching on several issues like corruption, politics of the stomach, headman’s position in the village and simplicity of village life. The title is also a metaphor for one who is left exposed. For a headman to have his privates exposed is the height of embarrassment.

The story starts lowly, develops into a complex narrative of village life and the politics of survival. Mubayiwa said problems were scuttling the group’s efforts to come up with well created, compact works so much that the cast was contemplating moving to Harare where there are better opportunities.

Currently, the group is based in Masvingo.

“In Masvingo, all organisations that we approach for assistance tell us that they are headquartered in Harare and you know how it is like when the application goes that far. We might be moving to a bigger city for the sake of our careers since we are full-time in this industry,” Mubayiwa explained.

“Sabhuku Vharazipi” falls under Ziya Cultural Theatre Club which was formed in 1993.