‘I knew nothing about Kambule. But they (Idakeda) came to my school as a part of their social outreach and engagement, and during my performance in one of our school’s presentations, they saw me and said “We want you to be a part of our performance family.” I started with them when I was twelve years old. I was shocked and a little confused when I first entered the space and stayed to myself. I was unsure because I didn’t know anything about this, but they didn’t allow me to stay in the corner and pulled me centre stage.’
Read the full interview with Idakeda troupe member Kamaya Francis here:
‘Kambule’ will be showcased at Carifesta 2019 to be held in Trinidad between the 16th and 25th of August 2019. Kambule pays tribute to our warrior ancestors of the Mas and brings their achievements to the attention of the entire society. The Carnival that we now take for granted was fought for by the former enslaved of the barrack yards, not only in Port of Spain but also in the East and South of the island. The riots of 1881 in Port of Spain were however the most significant.
The play documents the victory of stick-fighters and ordinary Africans against the colonial administration who tried to stop the celebration of Carnival in 1881. The battle between the community and the soldiers is set against the backdrop of the barrack-yards of Port of Spain – poverty-stricken urban settlements inhabited by the poorer classes. Kambule gives context to the confrontation by chronicling relevant historical details and highlighting the relationships and conflicts that led to the creation of mas such as traditional characters, and the survival of Stickfighting, an African form of martial arts
For video of Kambule 2019 see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0n-muCLq0A
For pictures see under: