Chitenje Changa: Our Vaginas Need New Names to be performed Saturday

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Chitenje Changa, an unapologetic monologue play for 16 days of activism directed by Zilanie Gondwe, will be performed in Lilongwe on Saturday.

The play celebrates womanhood but also discusses culture, identity, pleasure, and violence among other topics.

Each edition of the play is different because the stories of women are endless.

The play features a circle of magnificent, fierce and compassionate women from diverse backgrounds.

It is a production linking art forms from the power of words, music, video art and images.

The sisterhood created by working on the play bonds the actors in a unique way and helps to strengthen feminist voices in Malawi.

Stories are drawn from a range of focus group discussions with women around Malawi, personal experiences and facts.

“All of our stories are unapologetic. They are composed in either high key rage or unbridled joy, but never in confusion about who we are and why disruption and discomfort is necessary to progress. We speak because to be silent is to be complicit in harms against girls and women,” said Gondwe.

She added that this edition – Chitenje Changa: Our Vaginas Need New Names – comes from finding voice and ceasing to apologize for existence.

“The culture of demure submission censures women who examine our societies and traditions and question if things could be and how. Why does such introspection make people so uncomfortable? We need new, positive narratives but first we need to look closely at ourselves,” Gondwe explained.

The Chitenje Changa collective aims to support the feminist movement  for gender equality by unapologetically challenging stereotypes, giving  voice to taboo topics by communicating stories that celebrate and  magnify the courage, beauty, love of resilience of women of all kinds.

Blackmore PR produced the first play – Vagina Monologues Malawi in 2015.

The Censorship Board rejected the request for a performance license but the cast persevered and went on to perform it several times in Malawi and around Africa. Blackmore then partnered with Theatre for a Change in 2018 to create Chitenje Changa, an ever-evolving monologue play. This is the fifth edition.

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