Theater connects and inspires. It moves with emotional stories and brings people together. The best reason for Nyendo to start a collaborative theater project in the slums of Nairobi.

Fascinated by the idea, Lisbeth Wutte (theater pedagogue, Munich) and Simeon Johannes Wutte (actor, Leipzig) created a small, colorful school play. Supported by Joseph Barasa Simiyu (Headmaster Kangemi Youth School) and our Nyendo Managing Director Irmgard Wutte.

The play was intended to give the children and their parents a glimpse of a colorful and better future. But what might this look like? And how do you travel into the future?

With the typical matatus, of course! These are collective cabs and buses and the most important transport vehicle in the public space in Kenya. Matatus stand for the forward movement in Kenya like no other form of transport and are therefore perfectly suited for our little theatrical journey into the future. So far, they have overcome every obstacle. So why should they shy away from the future?

The play: „Matatu 2 Future”

Our matatu gradually filled up with passengers eager to get to the future, a nurse, a hairstylist, a banana wizard, a justice lawyer and many more. Clearly, such a trip was not without obstacles. Sometimes the whole team ended up in a huge hole in the road, then a gang of monkeys surprised them and finally a street gang attacked them. But miracle after miracle! They managed to win over the attackers as comrades-in-arms. After all, they all wanted the same thing: a better future. It’s a matter of standing together and working together. Welcome to the future!

The collaboration with the children, their openness, their will to live, but above all their warmth could enchant and inspire everyone involved in the project.

“As a theater educator, I was deeply touched by the children’s joy in playing, their talent for movement, and their concentration. For example, all the players learned to juggle with scarves and some even with balls in just two weeks,” says Lisbeth Wutte about her experience.

The theater project was brought to life together with 17 students from 9 to 12 years old from Kangemi Youth School, Love School, Kanyorosha School and Skylife Center in March 2017. The performances took place at Kangemi Youth School in Kangemi Slum.