Linda Nabasa is quite a happy soul, yet, going by her contribution to the writing of Afroman Spice’s latest production, What’s Your Secret?, girl indeed has some haunted thoughts.
After a successful run with their debut Afroman Spice show last year, yesterday, Nabasa alias Nada, Rasheedah Namulondo and Sandra Nankoma alias Sandy Soul staged a follow up to their runaway hit.
Aptly titled What’s Your Secret?, the show ran away from the groove, jazz, soul and banters that the trio introduced to us last year, instead, they came with rather ice to cool the fire they started last July and probably make things scary.
Yes, the show that happened at the National Theater auditorium was great art though not one of such fun shows – it was dark haunting, disturbing and above all sad.
Happening on a rather dark stage most of the times, the show wasn’t giving memories, though started by plunging you to that moment with your body in the coffin – how much of your concealed self will be brought to light?
Ok, we take it from the top; it’s a story of one Nkema as told by the three girls – we open with a timeline of her after life, seated on her coffin in a short dress, the particular scene, Nabasa says was inspired by a dream she had about her late aunt; “She died when I was in primary but I dreamt of her two years ago. She sat crossed legged on her coffin surrounded by nothing, and looking out in the distance….”
But much of the production is geared towards the recent deaths among the female youths and thus, Nabasa and friends tend to point to us what usually transpires in the girls lives before they meet their death.
Besides Nabasa that is sitted ontop of her coffin, we have Nankoma in the toilet, where we believe Nkema committed suicide and Namulondo in a room largely thought to be her room filled with accessories and a very visible white gown that seems to announce a pending, promised or expected wedding.
The production seems to delve into a narrative that suggests that death leaves people vulnerable, all the lies they told about their age, the lies about being courageous, carefree, pain resistant but in most of the production, we see the three lives that Nkema could have lived, of course some of these were cosmetic and rather plastic.
At one point through Nankoma – who seemed to be in the worst place, she was a weak and broken piece of meat, she had longed to have this baby with a one Jacob, yet, at the time she realized she was expecting his baby, the guy was no more, now she has to live with this painful pregnancy that always reminds her of the lost love and at the same time getting her judged by the society.
Since Namulondo’s Nkema was one that had hopes, thinking of finding a man one time and eventually getting married, she was in a far better place than the other two, yet even Nabasa on her own coffin, she literally had little to gain or lose, she had lived her life, in fact, her last mission was to tell an angle that she wasted her life but there was little she would change.
But it was the Nkema that Nankoma represented that was in more than a fix, a fatherless child, shared memories and a society to deal with, it could have been the reason she had all the bitter lines in the script; in there she wished pain upon the father of her child and literally cursed knowing him.
It was because of her that we had a coffin on the dark stage thus each and every line written for her character hit home.
Problem was that this production was highly anticipated, with a cast of two poets and a singer, people expected much more than teasers of Whitney Houston’s Your Love is my Love though, Nabasa says they concentrated much of the time on the story which kept changing a lot and somehow left the music out.
Afroman Spice has been on a ride since they debuted last year, that it’s not surprising that they are already heading to Kigali where they will be staging the 2015 edition, unlike last year’s show where they’ve had to wait for a year to stage a show, they promise to make more staging for What’s Your Secret.
The production is directed by Esther Tebandeke, Rasheeda Namulondo and Rehama Nanfuka, yet Nankoma worked on the vocals alongside Kaz Kasozi as the music director.