Junior School - Annual Play: "The Great Kapok Tree"

23 May 2013

A musical story of activism and interdependence!

A musical story of activism and interdependence!

The Aga Khan Academy, Nairobi – Junior school held their annual play, The Great Kapok Tree, on 26th and 27th April 2013 at the Oshwal Auditorium.

The Great Kapok Tree is the story of a group of animals who come together to protect their precious home and the fragile ecosystem from greedy timber traders who are bent on cutting down the oldest tree in the rainforest, the great Kapok tree. The animals are led by the wise Parrot who, with other animals, seek to expose the timber traders by inviting a TV crew into their habitat. Soon, the timber traders realize they are outnumbered and consider becoming Forest rangers. Will their leader permit this to happen??

The story is one of activism, responsibility, community, appreciation, cooperation, self-discovery and interdependence. The Parrot offers strong leadership when the colony is faced with the existential dilemma. The monkeys, as leaders of the troupe spiced the show with their wit and humor as the group of animals continued in the seesaw fight with the invaders. In scenes reminiscent of sections from Animal Farm by George Orwell, the animals come together and try to dissuade the indignant illegal loggers. However, not even the presence of a Boa Constrictor or a plague of frogs can do the trick.

To everyone’s relief, the illegal loggers discover they can sustain a healthy interdependence with animals of the rainforest and soon they are chorusing to a new cry, “Tomorrow depends on what we do today!”

The play also taught students and participants that when we are given a second chance, we have the potential to surprise everyone and redeem ourselves.

In addition, Dr. Miti Dawa, who played an Environmental Scientist emphasized on the benefits of protecting our environment.

The Parrot also shared some of his wisdom, “as we go on with our busy lives, let us remember to stop and smell the roses and the fresh air, listen to the melody of nature, taste the healing powers of Mother Nature, touch, BUT NOT CUT the flowers that surround us and feast our eyes on the beauty of the rainforest!”

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