Artbuilding projects in Association with Curve theatre and The Lowry are proud to present Obama – The Mamba: President of the Slums
This captivating real – life story is about George Hussein Obama, half-brother of US President Barack Obama. Whilst one brother made it to the pinnacle of First World power, the other became self-styled Third World President of Africa’s most lawless slum – Huruma.
Find out more about the show here.
Dominic Cavendish reviewed Obama – the Mamba. Read it here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/theatre-reviews/9615069/Obama-the-Mamba-Curve-Leicester-review.html#
There’s still time to catch Obama – the Mamba at The Lowry, with performances on Tuesday 23rd, Thursday 25th, Friday 26th and twice on Saturday 27th October. Don’t miss out!
A public dress rehearsal this evening is your first opportunity to hear this extraordinary story for yourself… Tickets can be purchased in person from 12pm from Ticket Office. Show starts at 7:45pm!
George Hussein Obama writes about the Huruma Centre Youth Group:
Huruma Centre Youth Group is a registered self-help group with the Ministry of Gender and Youth. It has thirty-five members. It was formed with the aim of creating job opportunities for youths within Huruma. The group involves itself in different activities with the aim of finding a solution for the youths who have been abandoned by the Government of Kenya; that is why most of them have decided to engage in criminal activities and drugs. Some of our young girls involve themselves in prostitution and that has led them to be young mothers, from twelve years of age, and some are affected with HIV/AIDS.
Huruma Youth Centre Group has always focused on engaging the youths of Huruma and its environs in community clean ups and sporting activities, one being the Hussein Obama soccer tournament. We have very talented youths in sports, arts and drama; but because the government lacks the agenda for the youths, they just waste their talents because no one is there to empower and uplift them.
The main activity which helps sustain the Group is garbage collection. We charge a small fee of kshs50 (Kenyan Shillings) from each household. The city council charges us kshs1500 to collect the garbage for transportation to the Dandora dumping site. The profits are divided amongst the group members after we buy sacks for putting in the garbage.
The Government is not concerned at all with the slum. This is where you will find flying toilets, blocked sewers and many things which are inhuman.
Huruma slums is where the saying goes “survival of the fittest” and “do or die” – better die on your feet than die on your knees begging.
Most of Huruma residents were before staying in Nairobi City in makeshift shelters; but were chased away in early 70s and brought to Huruma.
Refugees from Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea have invaded the slum and they deal in unknown deals. During the daytime you will not find them, but at night they are mostly found taking khat (miraa) and black coffee. Huruma slums has the biggest goat market in Kenya , here we have about one hundred slaughter houses. Most Nairobi residents come to buy goat meat in Kiamaiko market in Huruma slums . We have had a customer who we later came to know as Mr. Hempstone, the US Ambassador to Kenya. We have also had an opportunity of meeting the former French Ambassador to Kenya, H.E Madam Elizabeth Barbier.
The problem with Kenyan Government is that they won’t nurture talents which are available in slums. What they are best in doing is to harass and arrest youths without any proper or meaningful reason. Most of the charges are suspicion of robberies.
During one of the Group’s community clean-ups, one member was arrested and charged with being drunk and disorderly. When we went to enquire at the police station we were all arrested with creating disturbances. We were told to part with kshs2000 so that we could buy our release. It took the intervention of the Area Councillor who came to our rescue and we were all released.
Life in Huruma slums can be shocking and terrible to explain. Huruma slums is where you can find yourself being killed or robbed at any time of the day. Youths have no jobs, which makes them decide to engage in crime and girls in prostitution. Huruma slums is the only slum in Kenya which has about thirty girls in jail from different countries for engaging in drug trafficking.
It is just the other day when two young guys were shot by police and a toy pistol implicated on them. There was a passerby who witnessed the shooting and told the whole story to media houses, but no action was done. The cops are still roaming in Huruma and they are still based in Huruma police station.
The slums need a leader who can make life changes and have a lasting solution for the slum dwellers so that they don’t have to rely on hand to mouth; but work to have a better life for their children and their grandchildren. One day, God can change the lives of slum dwellers and the world to understand that there is nothing impossible before God.
Shanaz Gulzar exposes her creative process, and the images that inspired her. Watch it here:
In one week Obama – the Mamba opens at Curve. Bring your friends and family for a fantastic night out – tickets available.
Kully Thiarai shares her thoughts on Obama – the Mamba, an ‘epic story’. Watch it here:
Only 9 days until Obama – the Mamba opens at Curve. Have you got your tickets yet?