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ISSN: 1570-0178

Volume 3, Issue 1 (9 July 2001)

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Le pouvoir se mange entier
Power is eaten whole
A play by the "Troupe Théâtrale Mufwankolo" of Lubumbashi



Members of the Troupe Théâtrale Mufwankolo

Cast of Le pouvoir se mange entier


Scene 1 - The law of the land

Scene 2 - Trouble brewing

Scene 3 - The case of the thief

Scene 4 - The hunter's visit

Scene 5 - The case of adultery

Scene 6 - Revolt in the fields

Scene 7 - The chief takes control - Order reestablished




Transcribed and translated recordings of the rehearsals and the video-taped performance of this play were first published in:

Johannes Fabian. (1990). Power and performance. Ethnographic explorations through proverbial wisdom and theater in Shaba (Zaire). Madison, Wis.: University of Wisconsin Press.

After the book sold out, the publisher decided not to keep it in print. But in Spring 2001 the contract was renewed and Power and performance will become available again, either in a reprint or in an electronic edition. Meanwhile, the complete transcripts and translations are deposited in Archives of Popular Swahili, coutesy of The University of Wisconsin Press. The recordings were made in June 1986 at the Cercle Makutano in Lubumbashi and at Kawama, a nearby village where the final performance was taped. Johannes Fabian transcribed and translated them; the late Kalundi Mango gave valuable assistance when the manuscript of the book was prepared. Readers who want to know more about the saying "Le pouvoir se mange entier," about Mufwankolo and his troupe, the history of popular theater in Shaba/Katanga, and the circumstances under which the play was produced should consult Power and Performance. The texts are reproduced here as they appeared in chapters 7-12 of the book (including most of the notes to the transcriptions and translations). As always, LPCA welcomes comments and questions.

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Kawama village near Lubumbashi - The TV-crew sets up equipment


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Two Kawama youth posing before the taping Troupe Théâtrale Mufwankolo at Kawama, before the performance

Members of the Troupe Théâtrale Mufwankolo

Stage name Name Gender
Kachelewa Wazenga Linga m
Mufwankolo Lyembe Kaswili m
Bwana Cheko Mbuyu Darabo m
Tala Ngai Kabeya Mutumba m
Malisawa Bumba Ilunga m
Shebele Kandayi Mabisi m
Amunaso Ilunga Kalongo f
Mashimango Muteba wa Mweba m
Sondashi/Kalwasha Mawej'a Kabwiz' m
Salima Muyumba Mauwa f
Kamwanya Ilunga Kasongo f
Manyeke Ndala Tshisola m
Feza Mukadi Binene f
Sinanduku Kabedi Kasongo f
Mukosayi Tshibanda Kamishi m
Katolushi Kayembe Mboyi m
Sakina Nshima Kitumbika f
Muke/Coco Banza Mulombo m
Kalulu Mbambu Katuba m
Loko Kamuikete Sowoya m
Foloko Kisiamba Mayoyo m
Shambuyi Kamba Munsense m
Shindano Shebele Kabumba Mato m
Sikuzani Katoka Kayembe f
Zaina Mutwale Bileo f
Kato Mukwapa m

Cast of Le pouvoir se mange entier

Name Rehearsal Final performance
The chief and his court
Mufwankolo chief same
Amunaso ? chief's wife
Salima chief's wife --
Bwana Cheko notable same
Tala Ngai notable same
Masimango notable same
Shebele guard same
Mukosayi ? guard
Shambui ? guard
The case of the thief
Feza plaintiff same
Manyeke accused same
Kamwanya second woman, witness --
The hunter's visit
Kalwasha hunter same
The case of adultery
Foloko cheated husband --
Kamwanya wife, accused same
Katolushi adulterer same
Feza second woman --
Kalwasha -- cheated husband
Villagers -- Contesting the chief
Feza woman same
Kamwanya woman same
Sinanduku ? woman
Malisawa man same
Foloko man, drummer same
Kato man, drummer same
Muke ? boy
Loko man same


[Scene 1 - The law of the land]

[Scene 2 - Trouble brewing]

[Scene 3 - The case of the thief]

[Scene 4 - The hunter's visit]

[Scene 5 - The case of adultery]

[Scene 6 - Revolt in the fields]

[Scene 7 - The chief takes control - Order reestablished]

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Copyright notice:
Texts from Power and performance reproduced courtesy of The University of Wisconsin Press
1990, renewed 2001 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System
Deposited at APS: 9 July 2001
Revisions: 24 August 2001 (APS Volume number added), 27 September 2001 (photos added), 31 October 2001 (ISSN added)