LubutoDrama gives children and youth a chance to explore theater and performance, and some of our participants have taken what they learned and seized some wonderful opportunities. Two boys—Daniel and Victor—auditioned for and were cast in a footwear commercial in Lusaka. They were thrilled to be on TV, but it also represented a paid opportunity to use their acting skills that will hopefully open the door to more work.
On an even bigger scale, 19-year-old Mwengele Lwipa and 17-year-old Masa Zulu were featured in an award-winning film called I Am Not a Witch that Mark Kermode from The Observer called “comic, tragic—and captivatingly beautiful.” Shown at major film festivals around the world, this film about a young Zambian girl accused of witchcraft attracted huge attention and collected numerous awards—including the Best Feature Film at the Africa International Film Festival and the Best Directorial Debut at the Stockholm Film Festival. In addition to being paid for their work, the boys got to travel around Lusaka during the shooting and see themselves on the big screen. Both of them were overwhelmed by the experience of having their friends see them on TV (as the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation aired the film repeatedly), and Mwengeli said, “This is what I am meant to do!” Considering that they have already been invited to audition for more movies, it seems he may be right.