A love story set in the middle of a war. Maybe you think you’ve heard this story before, but imagine you are in Cameroon in 1954 and you will soon realise that you haven’t.
To this day, Cameroon’s ‘Hidden War of Independence’ is one that is mainly spoken about in hushed stories passed on from one generation to the next. If you ask the French, they will say nothing happened, with written history of the West-Central African country’s fight for independence suppressed almost as violently as the uprisings that paved the way for Cameroon’s independence.
But Under the Kundé Tree, a play written by Clarisse Makundul and directed by Ebenezer Bamgboye, is not just about what happened to Cameroon; it’s also about two lovers who struggle against society, their families and tradition for the sake of love. Inspired by Clarisse’s grandmother, it’s also about the women who had to keep the independence fires burning as their husbands and sons were forced underground by the brutal tyranny of the colonial regime.