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  • Parapanda Theatre Lab

    Country  Tanzania
    Genres roots traditional
    FestivalSauti za Busara 2006
    Parapanda Theatre Lab
    Parapanda Theatre Lab

    Parapanda Theatre Lab (PTL), popularly known as Parapanda Arts, is based in the outskirts of Dar es Salaam. It is probably the nation's leading theatre organisation, whose broad objective is to promote theatre in Tanzania. The word parapanda is derived from a Kiswahili word meaning a traditional music instrument used to alert members of the community. This instrument could be likened to a modern trumpet. The Organisation bears this name to give force to the function of theatre in contemporary Tanzania.


    Lab is a short form of Laboratory, indicating the organisation's commitment to experimentations of various theatrical forms.

    The group was started by two theatre students of the University of Dar es Salaam; Mr Mgunga Mwa Mnyenyelwa and Ms Mona Mwakalinga.

    Parapanda distinguishes itself from other theatre practitioners by its original narrative theatre based in story telling, poetry and music. For ten years now, Parapanda has been dealing with crosscutting issues from political to cultural with verve and innovation.

    Some of their successful productions over the past five years include "Kilio cha Ardhi" (A cry for land); "Tangulia Mwalimu" (Swahili poetry album which ended up winning 2000 TANZANIA MUSIC AWARD; "Shujaa wa Jando"; "Bin Adam wa Damu"; "Mfalme Juha" and "Wimbo wa Nyonga".

    The group has toured extensively, performing in Zanzibar, Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, Mozambique and South Africa.