The Last Straw – Learning through theatre

The cast of The Last Straw, from left, Shanice Mnyandu, Londiwe Ngwazi and Coloured Diamond act out a dramatic scene. Photo: Pierre Tostee

The Last Straw, an educational and informative anti-drug Zulu roadshow produced by renowned Durban theatre legend Peter Court, stopped at Kearsney Primary School recently.

The roadshow was performed for 1500 pupils over three days at five of the MRP Foundation supported schools including Aldinville Senior Primary School, St. Christopher’s Primary School, Nyakana Combined Primary School and Zulingesle Primary School.

According to Court, there has been a significant increase in the use of drugs, especially Whoonga, among pupils.

“Whoonga has become a huge problem in KZN schools and the average age of a new addict is 12 years old. Pupils need to understand that one is too many, and a thousand never enough,” said Court, the creative arts implementation partner for the MRP Foundation’s Schools Programme.

The production focuses on three characters, Asanda, a young girl arriving at a new school who desperately wants to fit in.

Also read: Afro-Indian fusion at the Sneddon this week

She falls in with the wrong crowd, and is used as a drug mule to bring Whoonga into the school.

Nathan, a boy of 14, with the potential and skills to become a world-class soccer player starts selling drugs outside the school in order to fund his new football boots.

And Mondi, a 15 year old, who never fitted in at school, and has been used by the Ammacharma boys gang since he was nine as a gopher, hijacker, and later as a drug dealer.

These are true-life scenarios that come to tragic conclusions. The scenes were interspersed with recorded pleas from Whoonga addicts (now living on the streets) for kids to stay drug free, sober and work towards a better life.

The cast of The Last Straw are Celean Nacken, Shanice Mnyandu, Londiwe Ngwazi and Annie McGinn (Purple Annie – the DJ and Drug and Addiction Specialist) and supported by Zanele Mhlongo.

Kearsney Primary School grade eight pupil Anele Dludla said she loved the play.

“The play was really good as it taught us a lesson not to touch drugs as drugs can kill you,” said Dludla.

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The North Coast Courier

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