A young married pastor sleeps with the “Queen of darkness”, then his daughter in a desperate attempt to increase membership of his congregation that is declining drastically.
Free Souls is a theatre production by the Walter Sisulu University’s Ibika campus students in Butterworth.
It is a fusion of music, dance, drama and poetry that tells a story about the world between earth and heaven – and focuses on the rise of churches in the world, on the darker side.
After being constantly persuaded by his nagging wife, pastor Vuyani eventually takes her advice and asks pastor Okuju about the secret to his growing membership at his church.
After having sex with “The Queen of Darkness”, pastor Vuyani is given two bottles of oil – one will keep him relevant while the second one will help pull in the crowd.
Pastor Vuyani leaves the world of darkness in excitement, believing that he would start seeing more people coming to his church.
However, his excitement is short-lived as he is told that he has to constantly renew his vows (with The Queen of darkness).
The vows include having to sleep with virgins.
Among those in the first group of virgins he has to sleep with, is his daughter, who also happens to be a member of pastor Okuju’s congregation.
When pastor Vuyani comes to his senses, it is too late and there is no way back. He decides to quit, but that comes with a heavy price.
He is paralysed and becomes wheelchair-bound and faces a slow and painful death for defying orders of “The Queen of Darkness”.
Production director Luvo Jaza said the story was aimed at “exposing some of the realities in our everyday lives. We also want to show to what lengths people will go to and what trouble they will expose themselves to, in the name of wanting to stay relevant”.
He said the play was a warning to people not to become easy targets of the so-called pastors who are only after their money.
“Here we are not saying Christianity is a problem, but it is certain individuals who are distorting Christianity treating it like a business scheme, “ he said.
It was the second time the production was featured at the National Arts Festival.
“The response was overwhelming and it was a good motivation to myself and the entire cast,” he said. — firstname.lastname@example.org