Mmi’eva is a word that derives from the Setswana and isiZulu words meaning thorns, ( ‘Mmitlwa’ (Setswana) & ‘Ameva’ (IsiZulu)). Mmi’eva is a series of deconstructed monologues and poems performed by four women in the two respective languages. Mmi’eva explores the silences that abused women and children have had to endure from their loved ones, fathers, pastors, uncles and partners for the purposes of survival.
We are taken through a journey of a six-year-old, who has had to endure sexual abuse by her uncle, her mother’s older brother. She has continuously told her mother about these traumatizing events, only to discover that her mother has endured the same abuse from the same man for years. We also meet a 17-year-old teenager, who takes us through her past with her father. Her father wanted to marry her off at a young age, for the purposes of financial freedom for the family and how she ran away from home, only to end in more gruesome circumstances. We also encounter a young and angry 27-year-old lady, who has turned extremely bitter towards her faith and religion. We learn that this woman has been involved in a filthy fantasy orchestrated by her pastor, who has brainwashed her into believing that she and many others were serving the purpose of the most High. We then finally encounter a 45-year-old woman who is serving a life sentence in prison for stabbing her partner to death. She takes us through a haunting series of events that has landed her in prison.
All these narratives explore the uncomfortable silences that women and children endure in our societies. These narratives also impose a magnifying effect on how women are also instigators of these stories, a conversation that needs to be had, however uncomfortable. Mmi’eva draws inspiration from real life happenings of different women and children. Though women have stood up in arms for the call on Gender Based Violence to end, art also provides the platform to address these uncomfortable narratives, start conversations in order to end the silences around GBV, but to also provide healing in the process of confrontation. Mmi’eva is performed through monologues, poems and song(s).