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False 22 Travel Zambia May 2008 BUSH THEATRE On the doorstep of South Luangwa National Park a new performance group has been wowing tourists and villagers alike. Marek Petzer reports on how two enterprising individuals have harnessed the local acting talent. Picture the scene: a group of tourists arrive back at their lodge after an exciting game drive to find themselves walking straight into another animal drama. But now the kind of scenes they have just been witnessing in the bush are being performed by people – complete with their own background sound effects of hippos, birds and insects. An elephant lumbers across the stage, unmistakable with its flapping reed- mat ears and a braided- grass trunk, followed by another actor beating a bucket to scare it from the crops. Soon other animals enter: a stately kudu, a cunning honey badger, a pedantic giraffe. There is conflict, laughter and ultimately hope. It is the bush brought to life on stage: people, animals and all. The actors belong to a local theatre group called Seka, meaning ‘ to laugh’ in Chinyanja. It represents the combined efforts of Miranda Guhrs, granddaughter of the famed conservationist Norman Carr, and Msatero Tembo, acclaimed actor, director and producer. Since 2002 Seka has been delighting audiences all over southern Africa, from the Luangwa Valley to Johannesburg, and has even performed as far away as Bangkok. Supported by Theatre For Africa and the Africa Resources Trust, their mission is ‘ changing circumstances through changing minds, and changing minds through the arts – theatre and stories in particular.’ Now Seka plan to build a cultural centre, museum and theatre adjacent to the park. Find out more at: www. seka- educational- theatre. com Dancing into the future The Lusaka Ballet School is staging its annual ballet event on the 7th and 14th June at the Hellenic Hall on Kafue Road, reports Laura Manni. The first show is an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland performed by children aged 3– 8, and the second show, which includes dinner, will feature 8– 16- year- olds performing a mixture of classical, folk and modern ballet. All proceeds raised from the two events will go towards Kidz Dance for Kidz. This Zambia- based, non- profit NGO is committed to improving children’s futures through community- led projects. The first of these is the building of a school in the rural area of Chisamba, where over 200 children from three different farm communities currently receive no education. Learn more at www. kidzdance4kidz. com. For ticket information contact Anja on 0979380660 ‘ In Africa, a war is launched by a song and victory is also celebrated by a song’. So say the organisers of the first Malaria Pulse Festival, to be held in Lusaka on 27– 29 June. The festival features an outstanding line- up of musicians from malaria- infected countries across Africa. Their performance aims to drum up publicity and promote awareness of malaria, and also to raise over $ 500,000 towards malaria control and awareness. ????????????? The Festival is organised by ????????????????? PaSuFlo Management, an event management company based in Johannesburg that aims to address African development issues through the medium of entertainment. Music for malaria Crowned cranes and ( inset) a kudu, the Seka way MAREK PETZER KIDZ DANCE FOR KIDZ PaSuFlo Hip Hop Pantsula ( South Africa) People People Vakacha Habitat Habitat Nkani Nkani

False May 2008 Travel Zambia 23 Reader’s Journal MERLITH McKENDRICK This man- made lake, which covers some 370km2, lies inside Zambia’s largest national park. The dam that created it was built in 1978 and is packed with earth, making it less vulnerable to earth tremors. The lake is an angler’s paradise and plays host to an annual fishing competition. Do you recognise this place? Tell us where in Zambia you think the above picture was taken and you could win one of five copies of Zambia: the Bradt Travel Guide. Send your answer on a postcard to Zambia Bradt Competition, Travel Zambia Magazine, 4 Rycote Lane Farm, Milton Common, Oxford, OX9 2NZ, United Kingdom. Or email your answer to competitions@ travelafricamag. com, putting Zambia Bradt Competition in the subject line. Entries MUST include your full postal address and daytime phone number. Only one entry per household. Entries close on 31 August 2008. GUESS WHERE And win the Bradt guide to Zambia Merlith McKendrick is no stranger to safaris, but South Luangwa has a special place in her affections. In September 2007 she stayed with her daughter at Tena Tena camp ( www. robinpopesafaris. net). Her diary reveals some of the highlights. There was a sudden eruption of movement, snarling and snorting. Over in a moment: it was lions one, impala minus one. We drove round the lagoon as fast as possible. I was so hoping the poor beast wasn’t suffering still. Suffering? By the time we got there it was already divided into five equal pieces with five contented lions gnawing happily and a couple of hyenas in the background realising that there would be nothing left. Talk about fast food. I was awoken by the rustle of dry leaves. Strange: why would the staff be sweeping up leaves at this time of night? “ Are you awake?” I whispered to Rona. ‘ Yes,’ she said, ‘ are you?’ We decided to investigate. The view in the moonlight was unexpected: we were surrounded by elephants! About twenty of them had come into camp and were systematically scooping up and eating the leaves. It is astounding how quietly such large animals can move around. We watched the carmine bee- eaters for ages – a crimson, twittering, fluttering crowd, hardly ever still for more than a moment. Below them in the river a crocodile lurked, hoping that a careless bird might flutter too low. Every now and then he would submerge for a while and then suddenly erupt vertically like an underwater missile, snapping as he came. Zambian artist Carol Aslin had a sell-out opening to her first solo art exhibi-tion at the Alliance Française, Lusaka, in April. Carol, who has previously worked in film and theatre, studied art in New York and London and now has a studio in Lusaka. Her work, mostly in pastel and oils, captures the landscapes, wildlife and people of Zambia with a rich intensity of colour and texture. See more of her work at www. carolaslin. com. Carmine bee- eaters MERLITH MCKENDRICK Blue wildebeest NICK ASLIN ARTIST GOES SOLO KONKAMOYA LODGE People Habitat Habitat Nkani Nkani