Performance review: today it's me
PublisherUniversity of Botswana, www.ub.bw
RightsCopyright (c) 2016 Pula: Botswana Journal of African Studies
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Today It’s me, a stylized, narrated musical written by Botswana’s talented playwright and actor is about a brave popular singer from Uganda, Philly Lutaaya, and how he handled his HIV positive status and AIDS in the 1980s.The narrative of the production sees Philly at a point when he was caught up in the most difficult period of the AIDS pandemic in the world. It was difficult because of the stigma attached to the illness and the lack of knowledge about how to deal with it, which sent ripples of suspicion, rejection and prejudice among many, due to the inadequate knowledge gleaned from information about its causes. In the years of its peak in the 1980s and 1990s, HIV/AIDS was perceived as a disease of the morally degenerate; the populace thought of it in connection with loose morals and careless living because the popular understanding was that it was primarily sexually transmitted. Philly, despite his shock and fear of the prejudice attached to his HIV status, chose to make it public. The decision resulted in his alienation from the society he lived in and the media that had previously promulgated his artistic contribution to the music world. His victory, however, lies in his having been able to communicate with his audience and the world at large that there is a suffering, curious and frightened human being in each victim of HIV and AIDS.
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