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Writing a play to fund their wedding

EVE BRIDAL
By Wangeci Kanyeki | June 16th 2012

By Wangeci Kanyeki

Like many engaged couples, Seth Busolo and Daisy Nyawira were scratching their heads hard wondering how they could finance their wedding. 

Seth Busolo and Daisy Nyawira

Three months to the wedding, the two had only managed to pay for their wedding rings. All the other expenses glared at them.  Feeling that they had hit a snag, they opted for a budget wedding where they would hold the ceremony on a Friday and serve guests with tea and mandazi or a meal of rice with vegetables and no meat. 

When they presented their brilliant cost-cutting proposal to the parents, the idea was severely shot down.

“We needed money and we resolved we were not taking a loan.  We did not want to start our marriage in debt,” says Seth.

Still unable to think of any other income generating idea, they wrote down a list of names of friends who would sit in their committee and allocated an estimated contribution. 

Adding value

“We were reluctant to push pledges down people’s throats. It leaves people with a bad taste and they talk behind your back wondering how you did not know you were going to get married or wondering why you are not cutting down on your budget,” says Daisy. 

“We needed an idea that would encourage people to happily and willingly fund the wedding  in exchange of a product or service,” says Seth. “So we asked ourselves what we could create that would add value to people’s live?

“How would we get 1,000 people to willingly give Sh350 each? At that point a thought crossed my mind,” says Seth. “Why not write a play? I had been writing plays for a long time in my church and Daisy had experience as an actress. I decided to write a play about what we were going through.

“The play It’s Not About The Bride, would shine the spotlight on Kenyan weddings and how to deal with the cultural functions. In a humorous and dramatic way, we wanted to tell the story of how aunties push for their children to be in the line-up, mothers want you to wear a particular dress and uncles ask for alcohol as parents insist on a particular church or priest.”

Seth shared his idea with Victor Ber, director of Heartstring, a local theatre group and comedian Daniel Ndambuki who encouraged him and gave him tips on what to do.

Daisy adds, “We told our friends. Some were shocked as this was a first timer, the rest were thrilled with the idea and offered to act for free as their contribution. Others offered to make posters and tickets at no fee. The play would be staged in four weeks yet the script had not been written,” recalls Daisy.

“Seth wrote the script and booked a venue using his salary. We started the rehearsals, it was difficult synchronising everybody’s schedules.

Carjacked

“On the day scheduled for a full dress rehearsal, four of our cast members were carjacked and instead of rehearsing we ended up praying for their safety,” recalls Seth.   We thank God, they came out unscathed and the vehicle was also recovered. Having no time left, we did our first full run of the play on stage with a live audience. Thankfully the music and lights synchronised and it turned out great. We raised Sh200,000 and our parents were so amazed that they topped the difference. Our wedding was a great success and we had lots of fun and no debt. 

“After our first year of marriage, we did a follow-up of that play and produced For Better For Worse. Seven shows later we have turned it into a business and are producing plays based on family issues and telling the story using engaging, relatable and memorable humour.


 

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