THEATRE IN MOZAMBIQUE
Column by Vitor RAPOSO,
director of the Tambo Tambulani Tambo Center in Pemba
Comedy excerpts – 2.
Traces of footprints
The hunter enters with a spear in his hand looking in the direction where the animal may have gone. His wife Ancha comes down from the cashew tree and approaches him.
Hunter Kapenda- I have already told you: this guy is still looking for you. This is why he turns into an elephant. ( He picks up a bit of land from the footprint of the animal)
Ancha- Where are you going? Are you going to leave me here alone with the elephant?
Kapenda- When he arrives, climb up the tree.
The hunter is in front of the “curandeiro”.
Kapenda- The elephants are invading my house. But I find it all very strange. I’ve left my village because I don’t want any problems with anybody. But I keep hearing that someone is still persecuting my wife. It is not an elephant; it is someone who turns into an elephant and wants to take my wife.
Curandeiro- Do you need to turn into an elephant when you take someone else’s wife? (The “curandeiro” makes his riddles)
It is not the man who is going after your wife, it’s you!
Kapenda- Me, but how? I don’t hunt elephants; I hunt palapalas, gazelles … Here is the paw of this elephant. (He shows the sand imprint he picked up earlier)
Curandeiro- (examining the sand) But is this the paw of an elephant or of the person who turns into an elephant?
Kapenda – It is of the elephant indeed!
Curandeiro- You must be careful! You are in the area of the elephants. You should go back to the village, where the people are.
Kapenda- But in my village they persecute me much. There everyone wants to steal the wives of the others; I don’t like it!
Curandeiro – It is worse where you are now.
Kapenda- But isn’t there a cure or a way to protect my area?
The “curandeiro” tries to find a solution …
Curandeiro- There is no way! If you go on like this, you will lose your wife and you will die!
When the hunter returns home, Ancha has already prepared lunch. He begins to eat.
Kapenda- I’ve seen the “curandeiro”. He said that we must return to the village.
Ancha- (clearly satisfied) Yes; I think it’s better!
Kapenda- (imitating and ridiculing her) You agree with this thing just to go to meet that guy, right?
Ancha- What guy, my husband? The problem is the elephant!
Kapenda- And why is it that this elephant appears only when I’m not there?
In that moment, the elephant trumpets. The couple panics, they hug and they are on guard.
Kapenda- Now I think the “curandeiro” is right. We have to go back to the village.
Ancha- Yes! By the way it is ruining things, it seems to have been sent by someone.
Kapenda- Yes; It is very strange! Let’s go!
(While walking, something makes Ancha suddenly stop and so does the hunter. He examines the ground and once again he sees the footprints of an elephant) An elephant paw! (He moves his gaze showing another footprint)
This is a person’s foot. They are the ones who turn into elephants to take the wives of the others. Let’s go.
A tourist appears behind the couple carrying a backpack and a guitar on his back.
Tourists – Good morning?!
Kapenda- Good morning!
The hunter and the woman look at each other doubtfully.
Tourist – (holding out his hand in greeting)
How is it going? (Ancha takes her husband’s hand thus avoiding contact between the two) Me want to see elephant.
Kapenda- (Amazed) You want to see an elephant?
Tourist (optimistic) YES !! (Gesturing) photo!
Kapenda- I am here as I want to get away from that animal; It has destroyed my house, it has ruined everything, and you want to see this animal?
Tourist – YA! Me Pay!
Kapenda- Ancha, take advantage of this moment and have a rest. (Ancha shows fear) Trust me; I’m a hunter!
Ancha goes away and climbs the cashew tree once again. The hunter makes the sign of silence to the tourist who then does the same. He makes the sign to stay calm and to lower , gestures repeated by the tourist, too.
Shortly after, the tourist is amazed.
Tourist- Giraffe. The hunter coughs and the tourist coughs, too. The hunter has killed a mosquito on his face and the tourist has slapped himself. The hunter asks for silence by miming it and then he lies down. The gestures are then repeated by the tourist and then both of them get up slowly.