|Stephane Tchakam, Charge de Communication Pan Africa ILGA|
Drawing inspiration from lesbian women, Juliet Vuyiseka Rozani’s play Broken Dreams taps into various issues experienced by lesbian women in the South African society, a play she says aims to bring real life experiences of lesbian women to the fore, through one of the characters in the play.
The play explores through Ayanda’s character, a young lesbian woman from a township called Mehluko. The play explores her journey of revealing herself as a lesbian to the whole community. The revelation proves to be disturbing when she finds herself neglected by her loved ones and experiences violence, pain, loneliness and scars that remind her of the traumatic experience at all times.
Ayanda’s character experiences all the social ills faced by lesbian women. She is raped, and her religious family doesn’t believe in homosexuality, and is considered to be disrespectful and a disappointment to the family.
“All I ever wanted was unconditional love but all you gave me was unconditional pain”, are some of the lines used by Nomvula a character in the play written and directed by Rozani.
Chumani Ulana who plays the role of lungile a young man who potrays a gay man said “it was awkward at first but I got used to the character and given the opportunity to do it again I would.”
“I had to rewrite the script six times” explains Rozani, as Chumani notes that Senzo Ntuli made it a point to encourage Juliet to continue when she wanted to give up and says the play was a good concept to just give up on.
People have received the play in a positive manner according to the director of the play she explained that one of the audiences told her the play touched her life and she is now able to talk about homosexuality rather than pretending it doesn’t exist.
Broken Dreams was tried and tested in Broadway, “the play relates to those in the United States also as they have the necessary rights to choose their sexuality openly but there are problems they face which are unique to their communities”, said Rozani
The play is currently under going a strategic review by the director with plans to make it a musical and possible tour with the play.