Dice results :
Who is your young hero ? 2 – a boy
A word to use : 5 – Heaven
An action to use: 5 – Teleportation
The style : 2 – fantastic
The range of ages : 6 – 15+ years of age
TUMELO: A 16 year old African boy
ENRIC: A past middle age European professor.
GRETA: A 16 year old Scandinavian girl.
SCENE1. TUMELO is at an embassy of one of the Scandinavian countries in Harare Zimbabwe he is being interviewed by a VISA OFFICER with a gruff voice.
VISA OFFICER: Mr Tumelo Gidiza, why do you want to visit Scandinavia?
TUMELO: Because I think it’s heaven and my girlfriend lives there.
VISA OFFICER: Invitation letter?
TUMELO: Here it is
TUMELO hands over a piece of paper.
VISA OFFICER studies invitation.
VISA OFFICER: The law of my part of the world does not entertain people who met on Facebook. You have to prove that you have met in person before outside her country of origin. See my job as Visa officer is not to keep you out of my part of the world; but to make sure you meet all the standards.
VISA OFFICER: Where did you meet Greta?
TUMELO: At the museum of modern travel.
VISA OFFICER: What were both of you doing there?
TUMELO: She was an exchange student at one of the local high schools. We were attending a Freedom of international travel workshop.
VISA OFFICER: When?
TUMELO: Six months ago. From 14 to 21 December.
VISA OFFICER: That’s only a week, do you have any photographic evidence of both of you together?
TUMELO hands over some cards.
VISA OFFICER: How did you manage to fall in love? Don’t give me an answer like it was love at first sight.
TUMELO: Now those questions are too personal. Do I need a visa if I use teleportation?
VISA OFFICER: Don’t be fantastic young man.
SCENE 2 TUMELO AND ENRIC ARE PADDLING A CANOE ON A LAKE.
TUMELO: Enrich, you’re the most devilish professor I’ve ever met. First you smuggle me into fortress Europe by invisible airwaves after that you ask me to join you in stealing a canoe.
ENRIC AND TUMELO LAUGH.
ENRIC: Sorry my wave generator ran out of power over water. Normally I’m not devilish. It’s just your black magic working on me. I’m a stupid old bachelor who has spent his useless life studying teleportation now being taken in by a fancy story told by a sucker for love. (PAUSE) And I was just wondering, what makes you so sure we will find her in a log cabin on a small island on some lake?
TUMELO: Instinct professor! Instinct! It flows in my veins.
ENRIC: I hope we’re not too late that she has fallen in love with someone else; I’d hate to watch this wonderful thing turn into a Shakespearean tragedy.
SCENE 3 TUMELO and ENRIC on an island in the lake.
TUMELO: Look professor, there should be someone in the cabin over there; I can see a flickering light.
ENRIC: Okay, I’ll stay here; I don’t want to intrude on your private moment.
The sound of a girl sniffling can be heard coming from inside the cabin.
GRETA: (crying) Oh the visa conditions of this country, he will never be able to come here
TUMELO knocks on door.
GRETA: (disinterested voice) Whoever you are, please leave me in peace.
TUMELO: Greta! Greta! It is me, it’s Tumelo. Can I let myself in please?
TUMELO tests the door and it’s not locked.
GRETA: (screams hysterically) But Tumi, you’re supposed to be in Zimbabwe! You’re supposed to be in Africa!
(pause and calms down)
GRETA: (CONT’D) But I don’t believe in teleportation, never! Never! Ever!
(pause much calmer voice) Tumi, oh Tumi, How did you get here?
TUMELO: Oh Brita! Oh Brita, please! I warned you that I will cross oceans for you. Oh you’re beautiful, come give me a hug.
They gingerly hug with accompanied heavy breathing.
TUMELO: (CONT’D) Greta, (STAMMERS) I, I, I still lo, lo….you, I, I,I………
GRETA: Shhhhhhhh! Me too, me too.
They kiss. SOUND OF KISSING: Mwa,mwa,mwa………………..
Tsungayi Hatitye was born in 1979 and educated up to GCSE form six and resources for furthering to University were not available but his passion for drama and writing led him to study drama through workshops. Since 2008 I have worked as a script developer-cum-actor for Edzai Isu Community Drama Group based in Harare’s Highfield Township. From September 20 to October 19 2013 I participated in the Zimbabwe-America Almasi Collaborative Arts Playwrights Intensive Workshop in Harare in which five Zimbabwean playwrights were mentored by Nikkole Salter, an Obi Award winning American dramaturge. In that workshop I developed a play titled The Gravel Road to Copenhagen about a young local township man who falls in love with a Danish exchange student which was stage read on October 19 2013 at The University of Zimbabwe. www.almasiarts.org
In January 2015 I answered a call by ASSITEJ to submit new writings and my work in progress Tsetse Valley was selected to be developed through mentoring, I was put by ASSITEJ SA into hands of the celebrated South African playwright and director Craig Higginson who among other things coached me on making an attention grabbing non-linear piece that goes backwards and forwards in time. An extract of the piece was read at African Youth Theatre and Dance Festival at Artscape in June 2015. A DVD recording of the festival reading of Tsetse Valley as directed by Richard Antrobus can be found at http://youtu.be/K-7VkuEhOcI
Mail & Guardian SA 23 July 2015
The diversity and urgency of some of the narratives that came out of the playwrights’ stories prove this. Playwright and short-story writer Tsungayi Hatitye’s text, Tsetse Valley, interrogates Zimbabwe’s traditional rural ways versus its modern laws.
While studying to be a safari guide, Hatitye witnessed the attitudes of those people who have a modern education and earn money from animals within a contemporary legal framework. He noticed how they had a sense of superiority compared with those who had no education and who earned subsistence wages from the wildlife that surrounds them. “In essence my story explores an old and new world living in parallel, trying to coexist and the results that emerge from that contact,” Hatitye says. “With it I’m trying to provoke a dialogue about survival. Is it possible to convince an ever-expanding population – which cooks on open fires, practises subsistence agriculture with simple tools, yet struggles to make meat and eggs a part of the grocery list – to practise conservation for the sake of conservation?”