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“The Legend of Aku Sika” puts spotlight on discrimination against PWDs

The play, The Legend of Aku Sika, directed by Naa Ashorkor Mensah-Doku of April Communications with the assistance of Ato Ghartey and George Quaye, forms part of the National Theatre’s Director-in-Residence programme

Aku Sika may be a very popular folktale told over the years but for patrons who watched it as a play at the National Theatre last weekend, it was a moment of reflection on how society discriminates against persons with disabilities (PWDs).

The play, The Legend of Aku Sika, directed by Naa Ashorkor Mensah-Doku of April Communications with the assistance of Ato Ghartey and George Quaye, forms part of the National Theatre’s director-in-residence programme.

Cast of the play include, Adomaa, Edinam Atatsi, Mawuli Semevor, Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo, Roland Adom, Elvis Crystal, Adomaa, among others.

After his swearing- in, a new king starts habouring the idea of taking another wife. News of the king having eyes for Aku, a beautiful but orphaned young woman raised by her ailing grandmother becomes talk of the market square.

And thanks to Oppong, the village gossip, the king’s first wife, Nanayere Ama gets to know of her husband’s intention. Oppong also drops a bombshell that Aku s played by Adomaa, is an amputee so the king cannot marry her. It is a taboo in the land for the king to take a person living with disability as a wife

Armed with the information, Nanayere Ama goes all out to make sure her husband does not take another wife not to talk of a poor and deformed one as such. She sees it as an affront to her status and Nanayere Ama calls for a meeting to address her concerns.

She swears by the scepter of truth that Aku is deformed and that the elders and decision makers of the land shouldn’t allow the king to marry her since the customs and traditions forbid him to do so.

The king denies Aku is physically challenged, so the queen-mother played by Edinam Atatsi and the elders summon Aku before a gathering of the townsfolk to reveal her arm which is always covered.

However, before the set day, the gods of the land bless Aku with a golden arm which she shows to everyone to the chagrin of Nanayere Ama and her gossip friend, Oppong.

The theme of discrimination against the physically challenged is a global concern and that was well addressed in the play, probably evoking empathy and reflection among the audience.

The Legend of Aku Sika which was staged in honour of playwright and director, Professor Martin Owusu.

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