Aganza Kisaka’s play, ‘Black’ was the shortest of all the acts that were displayed during the Kampala International Theatre Festival. That is not to say that it was any less captivating.
Contrary to the thought, the play was most relatable to especially among Africans who have had a chance to travel and live abroad for a while. In pursuit of acceptance in the foreign land, where discrimination is high, they seek refuge among African Americans, as they are closer home; or so they think. Unfortunately, this is not rosy either. Very often than not, Africans are not accepted by the African Americans, leaving them feeling cast out.
Based on Frantz Fanon’s book, Black traces the life of a young African student, Kisakye, in the United States, who gets arrested during a scuffle. Although she tries to convince the native interrogating officer that she’s African and not Black American, her arguments fall on deaf ears, until a call from her mother in Uganda.
We caught up with Aganza after the second performance of the 12-minute play. We caught up with Aganza after the second performance, in which she took up the lead role.
Joel: Comment on your experience as the lead performer today.
Aganza: I must admit that I was skeptical that I would give it the respect that it requires. It was my first time to perform it. I was avoiding performing this play because it is very close to me. Though fictional, and based on the Fanon’s book, it is set against the backdrop of my personal experiences. Thus, I was worried I might underperform it.
Maureen: What is your overall view of the festival?
Aganza: I loved the setting of the festival. I met interesting people, who I hope to work with in future. The festival provided time for me to relax. What’s more, it inspired me to keep writing.
Maureen: The festival had a couple more women than men presenting their creative pieces. What is your thought on women being at the forefront at the event?
Aganza: As a woman, I feel very encouraged to know that I am joining the right league of women leaders. I was elated to see many women participating in the festival, though; I would have loved to see a fair share of men as well.
Maureen: What next after Black?
Aganza: I am embarking on writing a radio play. I hope this comes through pretty soon- next year.
Joel: As a poet, what should we expect from you?
Aganza: I have plans to complete a poetry manuscript in 2017.
Maureen: Moving forward, what should we expect in the KITF 2017?
Aganza: I would like to be involved again, this time as a performer. I will have my work featured in the festival, as well.
Joel: Where can we find your work?
Aganza: I am organizing a platform to avail my creative work. When I have it in place, I will let you know.
Photo Aganza Kisaka | web.facebook.com/AganzaKisaka