The life of Sonia reflects the many lost hopes and dreams in the female population of Vanuatu. School was not appealing enough for her, doing the same tasks everyday. She would have otherwise enjoyed school, but her teacher always asked her to write about what she did the day before, everyday, and before long she lost interest in school.
Her friends would find her daydreaming about a boy. At age fifteen, hormones running high, she thought she was the first girl to enter adolescence and would not listen to advice from friends and families. That boys should not be the focus of her life at such a tender age, no, that did not matter. What if she had listened? How did her life turn out because of the choice she made at age 15?
We delve again into the inner workings of playwright, Jo Dorrass’ creativity as she pens another spellbinding tale of hope amidst despair. Of a girl who’s only joy and sustenance comes from dancing. She dances her worries away with her friends in performances that help her to earn some money, supplementing the household income.
Such joy is short-lived though because she lives with an abusive husband. Every once in a while, they are reminded of their romantic past, but these reminders fade away as they argue and quarrel over money, priorities and commitments. While her husband goes off to have fun with his friends, she is left at home trying to keep house and be a good wife.
She has been dancing with the “Tamuré Party” all her life, but that joy and freedom was taken away from her after she got married. Now she cannot leave the house. If and when she does, she gets physically abused by her husband. Her joy in dancing and the hope of having a great future with the man she loves are sullied by the realization that her man does not love her and is having an affair with one of her dance troupe members.
But that realization comes too late. Church and society dictates that she must stay married to her abusive and unloving husband. Looking to her close friends in the dance troupe for support, she picks up the shattered pieces of her life with courage and moves on with defiance, determined that her husband won’t stop her from living a good life – even though he stole her career prospects when he got her pregnant.
Under all the pomp, color, and music is the story of hope despite one’s bad choices earlier in life. Even Sonia finds strength from God to move on. The final scenes of Sonia dancing with her friends, despite all that has happened, shows that if we do not give up, we become stronger after our trials. It is our individual pasts that shape us into who we are today.
Tickets to “Laef i swit” are on sale at the Vanuatu Post in downtown Port Vila, and at the Wan Smolbag Haos at Tagabe.