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Final Weekend: A Ditch In Madagali


As Fehinty African Theatre Ensemble’s Playwright in Residence, I am so honored to have gotten the opportunity to write A Ditch In Madagali. The play follows the lives of two women trying to survive the attacks of a terrorist group in their northern Nigerian village. It is a harrowing story of grief, resistance, and a mother’s unwavering love and commitment to her daughter’s wellbeing.

As we wrap up our final weekend of the show, I am reminded of the women and girls that are still living in terror around the world. My hope is that you will see this play as a call to action, an opportunity to ask questions, raise awareness, and hold those in power accountable. Below is an excerpt from an interview I gave about the play. I hope you will join us this weekend for the last weekend of A Ditch In Madagali. To purchase tickets please visit www.fehintytheatre.org.

What inspired you to write this play?

A Ditch in Madagali was commissioned by Fehinty African Theatre Ensemble (FATE). It started with a conversation I had with Dr. Adesida, she called me out of the blue to tell me she was listening to the radio and heard one of the most inspiring stories she had ever heard about the depths a mother would go through to protect her daughter. Being that I had written Wrecked as my first feature play with FATE and it spoke to the struggles and determination of Sudan’s Lost Girls and Boys, she felt that I would be able to write this play. After listening to the interview of Zainabeu Hamayaji, I understood immediately why this story had to be told. So often we hear about terror from a global perspective and we remove ourselves from it because of the distance, but we can all relate to a mother’s love for her child. I was inspired by the mothers in my life, especially my mother, and their commitment to caring for their kids. I saw Mama Fatima as a representation of the love so many women give in a world that can be so cruel to these women. I also was inspired to bring life to these women, to see them as more than just victims, and share the journey so many of these women face when their villages are attacked by Boko Haram in Nigeria.

To read the full interview please click here.

An Immigrant’s Response to the World: Why I Wrote the Play WRECKED

WRECKED is a play about home. It’s about family. It’s a play that focuses on the journey of the Lost Boys and Girls from Sudan to Kenya and, ultimately, Chicago, Illinois. A story about how we never really leave home. How our memories, whether good or bad, of actions or inactions haunt us. It is a story that gives us a glimpse into the lives of refugees.

When I wrote WRECKED I could not have imagined the world we live in today. I couldn’t have imagined the stream of images of refugees fleeing their countries only to find that they are not welcomed in ours. I could not have imagined the turmoil that so many refugees are still going through in our world, under our watch. WRECKED is my response to this hostile environment and is a peek into the lives of immigrants in America.

Even with the ongoing conflicts abroad and the turmoil so many immigrants are going through, WRECKED is a story made possible only by the support of the immigrant community. This includes a theater company like Fehinty African Theatre Ensemble (FATE), a company in its tenth year of meeting its mission of celebrating African plays and playwrights and which took a risk on me and allowed me to spend a year studying, inventing, and workshopping WRECKED; a diverse and highly talented cast and crew willing to share, question, and understand the journey of the Lost Boys and Girls; and a community of supporters that spans continents. It is because of the immigrant community that I am able to bring a play like WRECKED to the stage, and for that I have found joy, hope, and a home on stage. I have found that I must take the opportunity to share not only the challenges we face as immigrants, but the pride and hope that we have and carry with us wherever we are forced to make home. Because if not me, then who else?

As tightly woven and complex as life can be, it is important to find a place where you can be safe telling your story, where you can grow and make mistakes, and pick up the pieces knowing that you have given your all and were able to own your voice. There are very few places to do that on stage as an immigrant, and fewer as an African. FATE has given me that; they have provided me with a home, and I am forever grateful to have my first feature play produced by Chicago’s first African theater company. Please consider donating to this theater and its mission so that many more African playwrights and talented artists may also have a place to speak their truth and share their stories.

WRECKED is dedicated to my family for always finding a way to avoid, overcome, and flourish in the midst of life’s wrecks. For your unwavering love and support for me and my art, and for the home you have built for me off stage that allows me to build my world on stage. Thank you, for the love you have given me can only exist in heaven.

Join us this weekend for the last run of WRECKED at Prop Thtr for this inspiring story of Sudanese Lost Boys and Lost Girls in Chicago. Tickets are just $20 at http://www.fehintytheatre.org. Enjoy the show!