Theatre as a Campaign Tool against Drug and Substance Abuse in Selected Kenyan Schools Plays
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The Kenya National Drama Festival Committee, the organizers of the National Schools, Colleges and Universities Drama Festival usually enters into a sponsorship agreement with other institutions to help in disseminating certain messages through drama. One of these institutions is the National Agency for the Campaign Against Drug and Substance and Alcohol Abuse (NACADA). NACADA has sponsored a number of editions of the Festival in the hope that participants will be sensitized through the performances on the need for demand reduction and supply suppression of alcohol and drugs use. The event targets mostly the youth in Kenya who are said to be at the highest risk of becoming victims of drug and substance abuse. The youth are mostly in schools. This article interrogates some of the plays presented at this festival and their agency at advocating the NACADA course. Specifically, it seeks to respond to the following questions; how are the plays structured to communicate supply suppression and demand reduction? What qualities are assigned to characters so that they act as campaign agents and how are the plays designed to signpost the dangers of drugs and substance abuse? How have they been used for supply suppression and demand reduction of consumption of drug and substances? What are the challenges that this sensitization campaign faced and how can they be overcomed?