The Uganda National Theatre, in partnership with Porters hub Uganda, ASSITEJ Uganda, Intercultural Theatre Uganda and Makerere University, has organized the first edition of the children and young people’s theatre festival dubbed Ponjo theatre festival. This is a two-day festival slated for August 19 and 20, 2019 at the Uganda National Theatre.
This year’s festival will be held under the theme: “Sharing my dream, shaping my future” and the Speaker of Parliamentary Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga is the Chief Guest.
Ponjo is a Lusoga word for Dulu in Luganda, a game enjoyed by the children. It involves players gaining points by potting marbles in a little pit. The event is organized by the intellectuals together with the children. Performances will be done by children and the audience too, will be of children.
Robert Musiitwa, the Public Relations Officer of the Uganda National Cultural Centre (UNCC) told The Sunrise that one of the main objectives of the event is to create and offer a platform to both the participating children and the young people, including those with special needs, to share their hopes, dreams, aspirations, and promote awareness of cultural diversities and identities. The event is focused on instilling unity among the young people.
It is to also paint a clear picture of theatre to the children so that they start considering it as a career parth.
Richard Lumu of ASSITEJ Uganda said that they have involved children in theatre to develop amateur theatre (children theatre) to reach the levels of the western world.
Puppetry, performances, exhibitions, science workshops and storytelling will be some of the activities to take the audiences through the day. Science has been added because it works hand in hand with arts in all life’s daily duties.
”Many times we have been separating Science from Arts yet they work hand in hand. Makerere University joined the school of Industrial Art to Engineering Department for a reason – because you cannot be a good architect when you are not an artist,” Musiitwa said.
Performances will be from the Kampala School of the Disabled and Handicapped Children through YuttaDance Company, Golden Times, Mugwanya Preparatory School, Gayaza Junior School and many others.