You can imagine what a young man like me thought when I first saw the poster above with the caption, “MEET THE TALKING VAGINAS”. Well yeah, you can take the entire guess you want from the vagina imaginarium. I thought of it all. But a second look at it and I saw VAGINA MONOLOGUES, 14th and 15th February, then I quickly came back to my senses. This reminded me of the most exciting and yet controversial stage play which stages worldwide around this time of the year. Then I thought, “oh yeah, these vaginas do really talk”. But I bet some people may be wondering how on earth could vaginas talk? Well, I guess we should find out at the National theatre as the talking vaginas make a return to stage.
The Vagina Monologues is an episodic play originally written by Eve Ensler in 1996 to deal with the many atrocities associated with the feminine experience. Over the years, the play has been adapted worldwide to suit different cultures and address the peculiar problems women face within the confines of that culture. In Ghana, the Global Arts and Development Centre, an N.G.O and advocacy Centre has been staging the Ghanian version over the past few years and this year’s promises to be even more exciting. The play, being directed by a renowned Ghanaian director, Abdul Karim Hakib, has over the years evolved to incorporate local stories relative to gender violence against women. The monologues deals with aspects of the feminine experience, touching on matters such as sex, love, rape, menstruation, female genital mutilation, masturbation, birth, orgasm, etc. A recurring theme throughout the play is the “vagina” used as a tool of female empowerment, and the ultimate embodiment of individuality.
The play includes monologues such as the “Angry Vagina”, where the monologist talks about the unjust appellations being given to the vagina. The name of the female genitalia has for about a century or so now become like the Tetragrammatons’ to the Jews. People prefer to call it all sort of names rather than the real name. And in Ghana, the new code name is “Tonga”. It also talks about the bad treatments women subject their vaginas to all in the name of enhancing it. This monologue humorously rants about such disrespect and negative treatments being meted out to their most sacred organ.
“You cannot love a vagina unless you love hair” is what the monologue titled “Hair” preaches. It talks about the significance of the hair down there. This monologue does not however, discourage shaving but speaks to the need to maintain a minimum fluff of hair to avoid irritations and spikiness during intercourse. The hair is there for a reason indeed.
“The Flood” also talks about an old lady’s experience in a relationship which led to her avoidance of men for almost the rest of her life.
Other monologues include; My vagina was my village, Because he liked to look at it, My short skirt, I was there in the room, The woman who loved to make vaginas happy etc. These monologues also touches on other pertinent issues relative to the feminine experience.
This year’s play officially begins on the 14th and 15th of February, 2014 at the National Theatre at 8pm each night. The play would be replicated at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) on the 21st and 22nd of February and then make a final stop at Cape Coast University on the 28th of February and the 1st of April, 2014.
The overall goal of the VAGINA MONOLOGUES Play is not just to entertain audience but mainly to tackle the issues of gender based violence especially against women in our societies. The organizer, Global Arts and Development Centre, is currently undertaking a research project relative to gender based violence in three districts of three regions of Ghana and hopes to replicate it in the remaining districts of the country to enable its eradication. The organization specializes in using the arts as a driver of social and economic development.The production of the VAGINA MONOLOGUES is therefore, at the heart of the organization.
Audience can expect nothing but the best at this year’s show. The “rap doctor” himself, Okyeame Kwame is the special guest artiste. So come and let us all meet the talking VAGINAS.