ABOUT "ECHOES OF LAWINO” PROJECT
Over half a century since the publication of “Song of Lawino” and “Song of Ocol” Africa has gone through fundamental political, economic, and social shifts. But many questions about African identity, history, heritage, and values remain complex themes. To date, Africa finds itself grappling with how to forge a sustainable path to the future that recognizes and appreciates its complex histories and foundations. Creating her future, grounded in strong cultures and complex histories is an uphill task she must climb. The play highlights the complex social and political contours Africans grapple with presented through the lenses of feminism, colonialism, post-colonialism, and pan-Africanism. The play also sets out to address the cultural loss that we (Africans) face due to generations of social, religious, and political indoctrination. How can we be authentic: that is to ask; how can we reconnect with values that have stagnated into ceremony or symbol or; how can we discard some aspects of Western modernity and start the process of being rooted in our authentic value systems? Through the "Echoes of Lawino" project, we intend to spark and join the chorus of voices daring to reimagine a more decolonized African people through plays/theatre, songs, dances, films, literature and other forms of visual art. Echoes of Lawino is inspired by and adapted from "Song of Lawino" and "Song of Ocol", classic collections of African poems written by Okot p'Bitek, one of Africa's greatest writers of the 20th century. The different activities of project shall be executed through partnerships and collaborations with various curators, artists, and producers.
Allan Odong, Producer
Allan is a young and upcoming theatre manager. He previously produced "Still a Mum".
Ojok Okello, Exec. Producer
Ojok is the CEO of Okere City. He wrote the script and provided overall executive production support
Alex Kitaka, Creative Director
Alex is an emerging actor, poet and playwright. He has played key roles in plays, such as, Still a Mum, Merchant of Venice and King Richard
Chris Kihumro, Stage Director
Chris is an passionate stage manager, actor and dancer.
MEET THE CAST OF THE INAUGURAL PRODUCTION
Sharon Atuhaire Achire
Sharon, who plays the character of Lawino is one of Uganda's leading female actresses. She has played key roles in films and plays, such as, My Fair Lady, The Hostel, etc.
Destiny Gladys Chaiga
Destiny is a communications professional and part-time poet. She plays the character of Clementine, aka, Tina.
Ojok, who plays the character of Ocol, is a development worker and community organizer.
Mercy, a young lawyer who also played the character of Lawino is a passionate about literature and theatre as a tool for facilitating for social justice.
Jason, still in primary school is passionate about acting. He plays the character of Opio, a houseboy lost in service of both cultural traditions and modernity.
ECHOES OF LAWINO NEWS/UPDATES
"By intertwining cultural expression with lived experience, Okere City and the production team have created a thought-provoking piece of art that not only honors Okot p’Bitek’s legacy but also pushes the boundaries of discourse surrounding cultural assimilation, gender roles, and societal change" _ Trevor Mukholi
The #EchoesOfLawino production left the audience captivated and moved as the performers flawlessly brought to life the characters vividly described in the timeless poems of “Song of Lawino” and “Song of Ocol.”
Through #EchoesOfLawino, we are reminded and requested to join the chorus of African and black voices daring to create a more decolonized African continent.
“The production highlighted the complex social and political contours Africans grapple with presented through the lenses of feminism, colonialism, post-colonialism, and Pan-Africanism.
Between June 9 and 11, a team from Okere City’s adult learning centre entertained their National Theatre audience with Echoes of Lawino.
Attendees of the theatrical production “Echoes of Lawino” at The National Theatre on June 10, 2023, were left mesmerized as the performers flawlessly embodied the characters described in the renowned poems of “Songs of Lawino.”