Men as Little Gods
Men as Little Gods is Nitumwesiga's first feature-length play, following the deeply personal transformation of an activist and an historian chronicling his tribulations. The play has been invited to MiTambo International Theatre Festival in Zimbabwe.
Men As Little Gods is a play about an historian who follows an activist around to write down his story and ends up being arrested with him. Although her goal is to understand him at first, and to write correct history as opposed to foreigners’ portrayals of her country's history, she later realises that their journey has made her a name and popular book while it has brought his downfall. His unmaking makes her.
She witnesses the activist's life grabbed from under him by his colleagues and watches money and selfish interests destroy what would have been a movement growing into a revolution. She watches the man she has grown to love lose not only the battle against patriarchy, dictatorship, and corruption – but also himself and his belief in self improvement and self liberation. She realises that activists are broken by the very people who are supposed to uplift them and that perhaps her people are aiming too high to want communal liberation when they haven't attained their own self discipline and individual liberation.
This is a story about why dictatorships last so long, and why non-intersectional protest rarely yields fruits in an African country where every man who gets into power (even if that power is nothing more than the illusion of power) assumes the role of a little god! This is the story of two revolutionaries using different means to liberate themselves and their communities, only to realise that change takes more than just dreams and ideals. It requires sacrifices that perhaps the people of their country have not yet made.
Nyonyozi, a 10-year-old revolutionary, wild child is forced to stay in-doors with her parents, starving and afraid of a deadly monster roaming through their village. Then, with the company of her stuffed bear, Nyonyozi decides to escape and face the monster that the village has decided to hide from, until she realizes that the key to defeat the monster is not to fight it but to befriend it. She convinces her new monster friend to leave the village, making it possible for the villagers to obtain their food and their freedom.
Monsters in an anti-war story. It idealizes friendship as the way to world peace. It explores the fact that often times the enemy is exaggerated and misunderstood, and that understanding and connection can solve our world’s biggest problems. It is made for children, hoping that young audiences are afforded the opportunity to understand that we don’t need to fight to live together, and that this space (or this universe) is sufficient for us all to co-exist.
Monsters received a reading at the BIBU festival in Sweden and at LaCartel children’s theatre festival in Burkina Faso, having been translated into French.
48 HOURS in HARLEM
Nitumwesiga directed two 48 Hours in Harlem plays at Uganda's National Theatre, produced by Silent Voices Uganda. The plays explored themes of black consciousness, power, colourism, sexuality, gender, psychology, beauty, and race. Each featured an all-African cast and crew.