Theatre for Development in Zambia

2135 Words Apr 12th, 2012 9 Pages


Giving an account of the Theatre for Development process and how it helps drive community development. Providing one or two recent Zambian examples of how this process is carried out. In your answer you must clearly define what you understand by the terms “process”, “community”, and “development”.


The main aim of this essay is to give an account of Theatre for Development (TFD) process, how it helps to drive community development. The essay would further go on to look at recent Zambian example of how this process is carried out.

Theatre for development is a famous means of communication for the people especially in less development
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“For instance Wasam Manom – a Hansa phrase for play for farmers was used to examine daily problems encountered by Soba farmers who lived at the outskirts of Zaria”[10]. A play is developed and presented before the people. In this case theatre essentially tries to make people more aware of their situation and commits them to want to do something about it. Theatre being a non-confrontational way of addressing problems it makes talking about sensitive and even normally taboo subjects. And because of this, after a performance, people can discuss the actions of the people in the play instead of criticising individual members of the village. They can test potential ways of problem of problem solving on stage in front of the whole ‘village’ and then discuss them. It helps shape public opinion about certain topics and moulds the public opinion in the desired direction. In this way it helps to drive community development.

Zambian examples of how this process is carried out.

It is clear that through Theatre for Development, everyday situations are enacted in order to illustrate the choices that members of the community have when it comes to protecting themselves from HIV/AIDS. According to a website,, it says “fighting HIV/AIDS has remained a challenge in Zambia, where at least one out of five people is HIV positive”[11].

According to a paper presented by Mwansa, he says “in Zambia, Theatre for Development is a
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