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Kebiditswe screens COVID-19 impact

NNASARETHA KGAMANYANE
Kebiditswe
Neo Kebiditswe has shot a film that shows how COVID-19 has affected the playwriting and art industry in the country. 

As a consequence of the COVID-19, the University of Warwick in United Kingdom, commissioned a short film that features Kebiditswe who gave an analysis of the current landscape of playwriting and the arts in Botswana.

The film also features other steering committee members of the AWPN such as Tosin Tume from Nigeria, Philiswe Tjwinstra from South Africa and AWPN founder and patron, Dr. Yvette Hutchinson from UK. The film is an overview of the network’s background, its achievements to date, as well as making the case for the need to support and promote African women playwrights. 

“I am a prolific playwright, creative and critic, and I have been inducted into the African Women Playwrights Network (AWPN) as a steering committee member representing Botswana. AWPN is an international network of African women creative practitioners from the African continent and in the diaspora. The organisation’s mandate for African women playwrights is local and regional development, offering mentoring, capacity building and skills development as well as enabling access to opportunities for international engagement,” she told Arts & Culture.

Kebiditswe explained that one of her life’s aims was to be in the involvement of change, pioneering, and the setting and promoting adequate standards. She added that

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mimicking what works for other cultures results in frustration and stagnation, which was one of the prime reasons as to why local creative industry was disjointed; yet they had a very strong cultural identity in their expressionism.

Kebiditswe said her proudest moment with the network was the availability of the free digital theatre in African educational pack for secondary schools, which was available on the University of Warwick website, under Theatre and Performance studies.

“Research indicates that African women’s work is significantly under-represented, with only one anthology of plays by African women having been published to date prior to AWPN’s Methuen Collection in 2019. Furthermore, unless women in Africa go to university, there is little training or mentor-ship for creative work. Therefore, the film captures the essence of being an African woman playwright through robust interviews and clips of performances,” she said.

The trailer of the film can be viewed on YouTube under African Women Playwrights Network. Kebiditswe said the film was currently under industry review from industry practitioners across the world, and will soon be launched on social media. Any further information about the film and the network can be found on the AWPN Facebook page and Neo Kebiditswe’s Facebook page.



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