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ANT Adaptation Performing Arts

Secret of the Siren

Hwange , Zimbabwe

July – December 2021

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Secret of the Siren is a play about a secret and the dire consequence of that secret have themselves been kept a secret until now.

Secret of the Siren is an innovative collaborative theatrical production bringing together two of Zimbabwe’s seasoned theatre practitioners, Nelson Mapako and Mildred Nkomo. The production is an adaptation of Nelson Mapako’s short story with a similar title. The story has been adapted for the stage as a solo and is performed by Mildred Nkomo and directed by Nelson Mapako. The production experiments on the fusion of narrative monologues and physical theatre, multi characterisation, shadow puppetry, use of visuals as well as other forms of multimedia.

The production will be premiered in Hwange in September 2021 before going on a national tour that will see the play being performed in Bulawayo, Gweru, Kwekwe, Harare, Mutare and Masvingo. The play is also scheduled to perform at the Intwasa Arts festival ko Bulawayo 2021 both on its virtual and physical stages.


Nelson Mapako is a versatile playwright/director, performer, theatre trainer and arts administrator currently working as a theatre consultant. He has been practicing community theatre since 1992. He was born in Hwange where he began his artistic career with Tikwele Drama Group. Later on he formed Ezemvelo Creative Artists, and was employed by the Zimbabwe Association of Community Theatre as a field officer for the Matabeleland and Midlands region from 2001 to 2003. Nelson has held roles as artistic director, programme and training consultant and festival administrator for various platforms and organisations in Zimbabwe and Eswatini. He has conducted acting workshops and written/directed several stage and television productions as well as featured as an actor both on stage and television. Nelson has received numerous awards and accolades over his long career, including Zimbabwe’s prestigious National Arts Merit Award (NAMA) for Outstanding Director (Umbiko ka Madlenya) and Outstanding Theatrical Production (OUTCAST) in 2004. His works have been performed at international arts festivals such as HIFA  in Zimbabwe, Matiwane Manana Arts Festival in Swaziland and Out the Box in Cape Town, South Africa. Intwasa Arts Festival ko Bulawayo, Ibumba Arts Festival in Zimbabwe as well as the SASOL Schools Arts Festival (A project of Grahamstown Arts festival)in Witbank South Africa.

Mildred Nkomo is an accomplished theatre artist with over 25 years of experience in the creative sector. She joined a local theatre group Ezemvelo Theatre Productions in 1994 as a trainee actress and soon graduated into the main group where she started playing lead roles in major productions. Mildred received training in directing and arts management with the Zimbabwe Association of Community Theatre. She has featured in stage and radio drama productions, as well as been involved in music projects as a jazz vocalist and dancer. Mildred is fluent in several local languages, and has been recognised for her talent and work by various awards. Mildred was invited to join the National Management Committee of the Zimbabwe Association of Community Theatre as National Vice Chairperson, and her long-term goal is to establish a mentoring project for emerging female theatre artists.