The play "Aku Sika" highlights discrimination against people with disabilities

AKU Sika may be a well-known folktale, but for those who saw it performed as a play at the National Theatre this weekend, it was an opportunity to think on how society discriminates against those with disabilities.

The play "Aku Sika" highlights discrimination against people with disabilities

The play The Legend of Aku Sika, directed by Naa Ashorkor Mensah-Doku of April Communications with help from Ato Ghartey and George Quaye, is part of the National Theatre's Director-in-Residence initiative.

The cast of the drama includes Adomaa, Edinam Atatsi, Mawuli Semevor, Arnold Asamoah-Baidoo, Roland Adom, Elvis Crystal, and others.

Following his swearing-in, a new king begins to entertain the thought of having another bride.

The news that the monarch has eyes for Aku, a lovely but orphaned young woman reared by her sick grandmother, spreads around the market square. Nanayere Ama, the king's first wife, learns of her husband's intentions through Oppong, the village gossip.

Oppong also reveals that Aku, played by Adomaa, is an amputee, thus the monarch cannot marry her. It is a taboo in the land for the king to take a person living with disability as his wife.

Armed with the information, Nanayere Ama goes to great lengths to ensure that her husband does not choose another wife, let alone a poor and disfigured one.

She considers it an insult to her standing, and Nanayere Ama arranges a meeting to discuss her concerns. She vows by the scepter of truth that Aku is disfigured and that the land's elders and decision-makers should not let the king to marry her since customs and traditions prohibit it.

The king denies that Aku is physically handicapped, so the queen-mother (Edinam Atatsi) and the elders summon Aku before a crowd of townspeople to display her arm, which is always hidden.

However, before the set day, the gods of the land bless Aku with a golden arm which she shows to everyone to the chagrin of Nanayere Ama and her gossip friend, Oppong.

The theme of discrimination against the physically challenged is a global concern, and it was well addressed in the play, likely eliciting empathy and reflection from the audience.

The Legend of Aku Sika which was staged in honour of playwright and director, Professor Martin Owusu.