Hot Air: Political clashes in the bedroom with most unexpected twists – Business Daily
Heartstrings ‘Hot Air’ cast, from right: John Bad, Esther Kahuha, Bernice Nthenya, and Joy Mushing at Alliance Francaise in Nairobi on October 9, 2022. PHOTO | MARGARETTA WA GACHERU
Heartstrings Entertainment has gotten good at constructing scripts that end with one-liner punchlines that are unexpected, practically unimaginable, and downright shocking.
Speaking to the company’s founder-director Sammy Mwangi shortly after his show’s Sunday matinee, he told BDLife he wanted to get away from politics in ‘Hot Air’ since we have had enough of political drama with the national elections over at last.
Yet as we know, politics and the power games that go with it are everywhere. They are in the church, in the home, and even in the bedroom as we can see in the latest Heartstrings comedy staged last weekend at Alliance Francaise.
Esther Kahuha, acting as Mama Morgan best illustrates church politics as she nearly steals the show, playing the hell-fire-and-brimstone kind of kinky Christian who is quick to judge and slow to change her ways.
She is a terrible toughie who tells off her laid-back son Morgan (acted by Fischer Maina) that he is a mess. It is not the most loving message to share with her one son or tell her husband. But this is her house, so she feels she commands the pinnacle of power.
That is how she has the confidence to dictate who gets in and out of her domain. It is also how she deems Morgan’s girlfriend Claire (acted by Nina Boera) a devil who is polluting the mind and body of her son.
Morgan looks helpless in light of his mother’s moralistic rant. She is freaked out by her girlfriend’s mention of miraa and clubbing.
But more concerning is losing control of the son she hopes will soon give her grandchildren. She is truly obsessive about his getting a fresh fertile baby-maker. And when she believes he finally finds one, she apparently doesn’t even care if Morgan gets married or not. This reinforces the implicit message that Mama Morgan’s brand of religion is full of hypocritical holes.
The politics of home are also seen in the quiet, witty patriarch Baba Morgan (acted by Timothy Ndisii). He does not look formidable except as a cool guy who avoids the hot air wrath of his wife by not getting riled by her rants. He advises his son to do the same: Treat your mom with respect but don’t take the noise seriously.
Dad’s ‘rules’ work, even as he watches his wife rudely insist that the demonised Claire get out immediately. She does not want to go since she has karma on her side.
Despite being an active ‘clubber’ and miraa chewer who reveals Morgan’s secret life to the mom and dad, Claire seems to meditate. She is also convinced ‘the stars were aligned’ when she met Morgan. Here we have more political and the clash of religious perspectives. But again, dad does not get ruffled by any of this as he as Patriarch is the quiet ruler of the home. That is the message we ultimately discover in the punch line that appears at the end of the show.
The wonderful twist that makes Hot Air of interest to me is when Mama Morgan’s family friend (Joy Mushing) arrives, accompanied by her spouse (acted by John Ba) and daughter. The daughter Waithera (acted by Bernice Nthenya) is straight from the village and is to be hired by Mama Morgan to do one job, namely, to clean up the messes made by Morgan who is messy by definition.
Here we will see political clashes around the bedroom that go much deeper than merely mopping and cleaning Junior’s toilet. But Mama Morgan strives to be politically correct in appointing Waithera, not a house ‘maid’ but a house manager who will get paid relatively well and have that one task.
But then when Claire comes back to see Morgan, who Waithera has already revealed her interest in the guy, the new so-called manager is not pleased. Her predatory nature already proves that gender isn’t the way to gauge the power of a person’s intent. That is why, in the final scene, when we find a house manager transformed into a mother-to-be, that’s the first shocker.
From being a silly village peasant to becoming a would-be grand dame who’s about to win the top political prize, namely the house of Baba Morgan, Waithera’s command of power is just as scary as Mama Morgan’s was. Only she carries no veneer of political or religious correctness. She has simply slept with the right man.
It was a strategic move to cement her place in the family jigsaw puzzle and allow her to say ‘everybody out’ except the one who counts in this political game: it’s the Patriarch, not the son who ultimately rules the day.
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