Two weeks ago I embarked on an adventure, probably the most exciting thing I will be doing this summer and I thought I should share it with all of you!
The National youth theatre of Kenya is a theatre company that was started by 5 very talented and passionate individuals, hoping to bridge the gap between school productions and professional theatre for people under the age of 21. This is the first time that there has ever been such an organisation in Kenya and I feel very privileged to have been part of history being made in my country.
A few months ago, when I was still an intern at Braeburn, I stumbled upon a poster that read ‘The National youth theatre of Kenya presents ‘Kesho Amahoro’, Auditions 28th March 2015’ in the school cafeteria. Now, at the time I didn’t give it much thought. I’m not too sure why as I am a huge music/ theatre nerd and would jump at any opportunity to be on stage. But after thinking it over and forcing my best friend Nadia to come with me, I decided that going to the auditions would be a good idea. That was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
About two weeks after the auditions I received an email saying that I had been chosen as part of the cast of the production. ‘Kesho Amahoro’ (which means peace tomorrow in Rwandese) is a story that follows a Rwandan family living in a Tanzanian refugee camp after the Genocide in 1994. I had previously seen the play when it was performed by Braeburn students a few years back and thought it was phenomenal so I count myself very lucky to have been given the opportunity to be part of the retelling of this very important story.
Fast forward to the 4th of July, the day we started our gruelling week of rehearsals. As I said before, this theatre company aims to be as professional as possible which means putting on a show with only 6 days of rehearsal. And we did just that! Every day that week we all got our lazy asses out of bed and headed to the Braeburn theatre at 9am and we worked all the way through to 5pm to make sure this play was as flawless as it possibly could be. After 6 days of intense rehearsal, we opened the doors of the Braeburn theatre to the public to showcase the first ever production by the National Youth Theatre of Kenya! All 3 performances went off (almost) without a hitch and the response we got was amazing. The audience (of which included the Rwandan high commissioner on the last night) were moved to tears as we retold this completely true story about the events that followed the Rwandan genocide.
After that week, I can honestly say that I have never been more proud to be part of something in my life. The entire cast and crew became as close as a family ever could in a very short time. We worked hard together, we cried together, we laughed together and most importantly, we loved what we were doing.
This brings me back to the whole ‘everything happens for a reason’ thing I’m always talking about. Had I not been forced to take this gap year, I would never have been able to be part of the production and had this incredible experience. Being given the opportunity to be one of the first members of the national youth theatre of Kenya is something that I will be forever grateful for. I am so thankful for every single person I met and worked with, I have never worked with a more passionate and dedicated group of people. It inspired me and gave me the energy I needed to get through those long ass rehearsals! I have done lots of great things so far this year but this has just moved right to the top of the list.
Sending you lots of good vibes,