The search for self-reliance: women, education, theatre and development

International Journal of Development Research

Article ID: 
4 pages
Research Article

The search for self-reliance: women, education, theatre and development

Tanyi-Tang Anne


In Mundemba city, many parents wanted their daughters to acquire western education beyond primary school level, or learn a skill, such as hairstylist, thus, be financially independent, accompanied with self-esteem. However, poverty prevented these parents from sponsoring their daughters in schools or in workshops. Hence, many girls dropped out from primary and secondary schools. On noticing the problem, some women in Mundemba city who had special skills created ‘Women Center’ with the intention of training drops out in various skills. After graduation, they were to find jobs. In 1990, the trainers in Women Center, Mundemba, improvised a play titled Emelie, which depicted a teenage, drop out who was married to a Senior Divisional Officer, but realized that she was abandoned because of her level of education. She decided to enroll in Women Center and also attend an evening school with the hope of succeeding in the General certificate of Education (GCE) Ordinary Level. Emelie succeeded in mastering skills and obtaining five papers in GCE. Her goal was to get a job, earn an income and have self-esteem. Spectators who watched the performance applauded and encouraged all drops out to emulate Emelie. The theory of existentialism is used in this paper.

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