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Script .3

Notes to broadcasters

Save and edit the full 5-part drama. (Word document, 300 KB)

Beans, a family affair is a five-episode drama about a group of women who persevere against difficulties to achieve success. The women belong to a village savings or vicoba group in Tanzania, and all of them grow common beans. Women do most of the field work for common beans. But, because of the traditional gender roles in their community, men make all the post-harvest decisions, including selling the beans and controlling the income.

A few of the major female characters in the drama, including Farida and Mama Mjuni, take the lead on this endeavour. They encourage the women to work together on their farms, and finally to grow beans together to market as a group to the village bean factory.

Read the first episode of the drama, including the character list, here.

The drama takes place against a backdrop of dramatic situations, including conflicts between women and men: domestic abuse in one family, and the underhanded efforts of a village womanizer to both manipulate women and profit from criminal activities.

There are light, funny moments in the drama too, though it covers serious themes. If you produce the drama with a local group, ensure that the more serious moments are balanced with the lighter scenes of friends reminiscing and laughing.

Each of the five episodes is approximately 20-25 minutes long, including intro and extro music. Because the episodes are long, you might want to air only two or three scenes at a time in your program. In most cases, two or three episodes take 6-8 minutes.

You could follow up the drama with a call-in program that discusses some of the issues raised in the program, inviting male and female experts on the issues. Discussions could include:

  • how the community divides the work involved in growing and marketing common beans, or other crops grown in your area, and how this might be biased against women’s interests, and may even hurt the family;
  • domestic abuse and the culture or habit of silence that allows it to continue; and
  • the kinds of support men can offer women who are struggling to help themselves and their families in difficult situations.

Script

1. Scene 1

2. Location:
Ext. Factory. Morning.
3. BG SFX:
Truck horn blowing.
4. Characters:
Farida, Stella, Sigi, watchman.

5. SFX:
TRUCK HORN BLOWING INCESSANTLY.
6. SIGI:
(FAR FROM MIC, SHOUTING) Hey you! Open the gate already! (IRRITATED) Alaaa!
7. WATCHMAN:
(HURRIED) Coming, sir.
8. SFX:
GATE IS OPENED AND TRUCK APPROACHES MIC.
9. SFX:
ENGINE SHUTS DOWN.
10. STELLA:
And what is your reason for the late supply today?
11. SIGI:
Eiish! Don’t make such a big deal out of nothing! It’s just been two days!
12. STELLA:
Two days may seem like nothing to you, but for us it is a big deal. We have a business to run here. Or did you forget?
13. SIGI:
You know … for a person who has been on the job for just a couple of weeks, you sure run your mouth a lot.
14. STELLA:
First of all, I need you to watch your tone. Maybe you forgot who I am and I need to jog your memory. I’m the supervisor of this whole operation here. I’m just doing my job and I suggest you should start doing yours and don’t for a minute think that you are indispensable.
15. SIGI:
Are you threatening me?
16. STELLA:
I’ve said what I needed to say, so I think we should get back to the business at hand.
17. FARIDA:
(APPROACHING MIC, EXCITED) Stella! … Stella!
18. STELLA:
(SURPRISED) Farida?! Noo way! (TO SIGI) Excuse me for a moment.
19. SIGI:
(ANGRILY) Here we go! Where are you going to now?
20. SFX:
FARIDA AND STELLA EMBRACE HAPPILY.
21. STELLA:
(ELATED) Farida, I can’t believe it’s you. How have you been?
22. FARIDA:
(LAUGHING) I have been great! By the way, did I come at the wrong time?
23. STELLA:
Well … I was just about to finish up with a client over there.
24. FARIDA:
Then maybe I should come back some other time.
25. STELLA:
No! No! No! It’s okay, really. I haven’t seen you in such a long time.
26. FARIDA:
Oh my God! It’s been such a long time! Jenny was the one who told me that you were back in the village.
27. STELLA:
Now before you start complaining, let me explain.
28. FARIDA:
(INTERRUPTS, JOKING) Yes, you better explain why Jenny gets a visit but I don’t.… Is she your only friend in this village?
29. STELLA:
(LAUGHS) I had planned to come see you this weekend. You know, ever since I came back, I haven’t had the time to settle down. Everything has been so chaotic—especially with work and everything.
30. FARIDA:
There is no need to explain, my dear. I understand. I’m just so glad to see you back.
31. STELLA:
I’m glad too! Well, I can see you haven’t changed much!
32. FARIDA:
You haven’t changed either.
33. SFX:
FARIDA AND STELLA LAUGH.
34. SIGI:
(APPROACHING MIC) Hey! Hey! Who do you think we are? A bunch of statues? We have been waiting for you this whole time.
35. STELLA:
Okay! Okay! (TO FARIDA) Farida, excuse me, my dear.
36. FARIDA:
It’s okay. Just go.
37. SFX:
STELLA AND SIGI MOVE ASIDE.
38. SIGI:
That’s the problem with hiring women. Instead of handling business, you are over here with your friend gossiping about nothing.
39. STELLA:
Oh, you are the one to talk! Mr. Punctuality! How much do we owe you?
40. SIGI:
(SPITEFULLY) Here, I’ve written the figure down on this piece of paper here.
41. STELLA:
Okay, you can proceed to the cashier and she will pay you that amount.
42. SIGI:
(SARCASTIC) Thank you so much!
43. SFX:
SIGI LEAVES AND STELLA GETS BACK TO HER CONVERSATION WITH FARIDA.
44. FARIDA:
I pity you, my friend.
45. STELLA:
(SIGHS) Tell me about it. He feels like he can treat women as he pleases. He is so disrespectful.
46. FARIDA:
(SARCASTIC LAUGH) Sigi and respect?! Those two don’t mix; it’s like oil and water. You know, a few days back, I found out that he tried to force himself on this girl who was trying to sell him beans.
47. STELLA:
(SADDENED) No way! Are you serious?
48. FARIDA:
I’m not kidding you; he is such a despicable person. If it were up to me, I wouldn’t sell him a grain of common beans!
49. STELLA:
Then why do you trade with him?
50. FARIDA:
(SIGHS) My husband. He insists that he makes all the marketing and selling decisions.
51. STELLA:
Did the girl go to the police?
52. FARIDA:
What?
53. STELLA:
The girl … the girl he tried to sexually abuse. Did she report her case to the police?
54. FARIDA:
I don’t think the police would have helped, my dear, unless she was really raped. At least that’s what my husband says.
55. STELLA:
But that doesn’t make any sense.
56. FARIDA:
That’s what I said.
57. STELLA:
It’s sad…. (QUICKLY CHANGES THE SUBJECT) By the way, I heard you have three little princesses.
58. FARIDA:
(LAUGHS) Yes, God has blessed me with three beautiful girls.
59. STELLA:
(EXCITED) Oh, I can’t wait to meet them. Congratulations, my dear.
60. FARIDA:
Thank you. And when are you going to settle down? Or did you find someone in the city?
61. STELLA:
(LAUGHS) You are beginning to sound like my old lady. (SIGHS) I’m still waiting, my dear.
62. FARIDA:
What are you waiting for? It’s not like he is going to fall from the sky.
63. STELLA:
(LAUGHS) Well, it seems like marriage worked out well for someone.
64. FARIDA:
(CHANGE OF TONE) Well … we do what we can. (QUICKLY CHANGES THE SUBJECT) By the way, before I forget, I brought you this jug of milk.
65. STELLA:
Oh, did you buy this for me? Farida, you know you didn’t have to.
66. FARIDA:
I didn’t buy the milk; I own a cow and a goat. So I sell the milk and manure.
67. STELLA:
(LAUGHS PROUDLY) Farida! The businesswoman! Good to see you haven’t changed!
68. FARIDA:
I try my best! But don’t worry; I won’t charge you for the milk. It’s your welcome back gift.
69. STELLA:
Well, I wasn’t planning on paying anyway!
70. SFX:
STELLA AND FARIDA BREAK DOWN LAUGHING.
71. CONTROL:
Stella

 

72. Scene 2

73. Location:
Ext. Farida’s farm. Morning.
74. BG SFX:
Farida ploughing and humming a tune.
75. Characters:
Farida, Mama Mjuni, Zuhura, Sifa, Hafsa.

76. SFX:
FARIDA PLOUGHING AND HUMMING A TUNE.
77. ZUHURA:
(EXCITED) Mama! Mama! Look what I found! A caterpillar!
78. FARIDA:
Hey, be careful with that! You don’t want your whole body to be itchy later on.
79. ZUHURA:
I’m not using my hands to touch it; I’m using a stick to touch it.
80. SIFA:
(FRIGHTENED) Mama! … Zuhura is touching me with the same stick she touched the caterpillar with.
81. SFX:
ZUHURA AND SIFA RUNNING AROUND.
82. FARIDA:
Zuhura! Stop that! Let Sifa look after your baby sister.
83. ZUHURA:
(SULKING) I didn’t do anything.
84. FARIDA:
I thought you guys were here to help with the work, but you are just messing around. We have a lot of work to do here. We have to be done before the sun sets.
85. ZUHURA:
But I’m working.
86. FARIDA:
Okay, help me pull these weeds and the roots of the common beans. But watch out for thorns, okay?
87. ZUHURA:
Okay!
88. MAMA MJUNI:
(APPROACHING MIC) What a pleasant sight! A mother and her three beautiful daughters.
89. FARIDA:
(LAUGHS) Hey, Mama Mjuni! Welcome. You managed to catch us in a little bit of work here.
90. MAMA MJUNI:
I can see that!
91. ZUHURA, SIFA:
Shikamoo!
[Editors’ note: shikamoo is the respectful greeting of a younger person to an older person in Swahili, and marahaba is the response from the older person that acknowledges that respect.]
92. MAMA MJUNI:
Marahaba! Are you being good girls and helping your mother with the work, or are you just sitting around?
93. FARIDA:
(LAUGHS) Half of the time they are just playing around.
94. ZUHURA:
(EXCITED) We are helping!
95. SIFA:
She is lying; she is just playing around.
96. ZUHURA:
(ANGRILY) No, I’m not!
97. SIFA:
(SHOUTS) Yes, you are!
98. FARIDA:
(INTERVENES) Okay, stop arguing!
99. MAMA MJUNI:
(LAUGHS) These children of today …
100. FARIDA:
(SIGHS) They can drive you crazy, I tell you.
101. MAMA MJUNI:
Anyways, it’s good to see you back to your normal self again. You’re looking much better than last time I saw you at the hospital! What are you up to?
102. FARIDA:
Well, I thought I would get ready for the tilling season by clearing the field and getting rid of all the weeds and the remaining stalks and roots of the common beans we just harvested.
103. MAMA MJUNI:
Noo! Farida, not the residues! Don’t remove the stalks and roots of the common beans.
104. FARIDA:
Why not? We just harvested the common beans … there is no use for them to still be here. They are just taking up space.
105. MAMA MJUNI:
You see, that’s a big misconception! When you leave your common bean residues in the soil after the harvest, they will increase the amount of nitrogen in the soil and give a good boost to your next crop!
106. FARIDA:
(SURPRISED) Really?
107. MAMA MJUNI:
Trust me. A lot of people don’t know this, but it really does help.
108. FARIDA:
Heeh! Where do you get these things?
109. MAMA MJUNI:
An expert told me when he came to test the fertility of the soil in my field.
110. FARIDA:
(SIGHS) Well, good for you because I can’t afford to hire anyone!
111. MAMA MJUNI:
(LAUGHS) Here, let me help you with that.
112. FARIDA:
Oh, thank you.
113. SFX:
MAMA MJUNI HELPS FARIDA REMOVE THE WEEDS.
114. MAMA MJUNI:
I feel for you sometimes, you know … it must be really hard for you, dealing with all this. Looking after your kids and working in the fields at the same time.
115. FARIDA:
Well, it’s not easy. But at the same time, these children keep me going, you know…. If it wasn’t for them, I think I would have given up a long time ago.
116. MAMA MJUNI:
Listen, Farida, I want you to know that you can count on me if you need anything. Okay?
117. FARIDA:
Yes … Thank you, Mama Mjuni. I really appreciate that coming from you.
118. MAMA MJUNI:
Don’t worry, dear…. You know I’ve been thinking about this lately.
119. FARIDA:
About what?
120. MAMA MJUNI:
Listen, Farida, I think I might have an idea. What if we band together as women and help each other do the field work by taking turns working in each other’s fields and looking after each other’s children?
121. FARIDA:
(LAUGHS) Don’t make me laugh, Mama Mjuni. Are you serious?
122. MAMA MJUNI:
Why not? It will help a lot of women get out of the difficult situations they are in. It could even help you.
123. FARIDA:
I know, but I just don’t think everybody will agree to the idea. What about the women who don’t have kids?
124. MAMA MJUNI:
They will get help when it’s their turn to work in the field whether they have children or not, as long as they help out the other women.
125. FARIDA:
(DOUBTFUL) I don’t know, Mama Mjuni…. I think it would be hard to get every woman in the village to do that.
126. MAMA MJUNI:
Well, we can start small. Why don’t we take the idea to our vicoba group? And then we can see from there.
127. FARIDA:
But will they listen?
128. MAMA MJUNI:
Well, we will find out.
129. CONTROL:
Farida

 

130. Scene 3

131. Location:
Ext. Mama Mjuni’s. Mid-morning.
132. BG SFX:
Mixed conversations between women.
133. Characters:
Farida, Mama Mjuni, Doris, Grace, Mama K, Jenny, Monica, Mama Juma.

134. SFX:
INDISTINCT CHATTER AMONG WOMEN.
135. MAMA MJUNI:
I’m sorry for my lateness, my fellow ladies, but I think we can begin the meeting now.
136. SFX:
CHATTER CONTINUES.
137. MAMA MJUNI:
(AUTHORITATIVE) Okay, can I have your attention please?
138. SFX:
CHATTER DIES DOWN.
139. MAMA MJUNI:
Now, before we proceed to discuss other matters, I think we should discuss a matter that is of great importance and of great benefit to all the women here. (CLEARS THROAT) Recently, I had a very productive conversation with your treasurer Farida and we both agreed that it would be a good idea if all of us work together for the betterment of the other women. Because, as we know, a lot of women struggle with taking care of their children while working in the fields.
140. SFX:
UPROAR BREAKS OUT.
141. MAMA K:
(JUMPS UP) And what is that supposed to mean?
142. JENNY:
(ENTHUSIASTIC) I agree that is a good idea!
143. MONICA:
(AT TOP OF HER VOICE) No way! No way! I’m not wasting my time helping somebody else when I have my own problems to deal with.
144. SFX:
MAMA MJUNI RESTORES ORDER BY KNOCKING ON THE TABLE.
145. MAMA MJUNI:
Okay, can we be reasonable, please! I personally think this idea is very good, because it will help a lot of women cope with their difficult situations. As we know, most if not all of us women are burdened with taking care of our families and working in the fields.
146. FARIDA:
(EMPHATICALLY) Yes! And most of us even have to look after our little children at the same time as we work in the fields.
147. MAMA K:
(INTERVENES) So? What does that have to do with me? I don’t have any little children; all my children are fully grown. So why should I help you raise your kids?
148. JENNY:
Mama K, I think you should be considerate and think about other women and not just yourself!
149. MAMA K:
Oh! You are the one to talk? First of all, you hardly make it to these meetings because you are so busy with your garage. Tell me how you will show up to help other women.
150. JENNY:
I’m sure I will manage!
151. FARIDA:
I think some of you are missing the point here. This is not meant to help only women with small children but everyone—because I’m sure we are burdened with so much to do at home. And by setting dates to help each other, we will reduce the burden considerably!
152. MONICA
: I’m sorry, but I agree with mama K! I thought the main reason for our vicoba group was to save money for the merry go round. Where is this other business coming from?
153. DORIS:
I actually agree with the idea, but as long as I don’t work with some of the people.
154. MAMA MJUNI:
And what is that supposed to mean?
155. GRACE:
She is referring to me…. Well, I don’t mind if I don’t work with you either!
156. DORIS:
Who asked you?
157. GRACE:
I wasn’t talking to you!
158. SFX:
MAMA MJUNI BRINGS ORDER BACK TO THE MEETING.
159. MAMA MJUNI:
People! People! I don’t think we will get anywhere with back and forth bickering. I think we should put the matter to a vote.
160. MAMA JUMA:
I agree.
161. MAMA MJUNI:
Okay, so whatever the majority rules, that will be implemented …. So, women who are in agreement with the idea, please raise your hands so we can see them.
162. JENNY:
(RAISING HER HAND) Here! Here!
163. SFX:
OTHER WOMEN RAISE THEIR HANDS.
164. MAMA MJUNI:
And how many women are against the idea?
165. MAMA K:
(SHOUTING) Over here!… I can’t even keep up with my own work, so how am I supposed to help somebody else?
166. SFX:
SOME WOMEN RAISE THEIR HANDS.
167. MAMA MJUNI:
Okay, so we managed to get more votes in support of the idea, and that means that this idea will stand.
168. SFX:
MIXED REACTION, BUT MOSTLY CHEERS.
169. MAMA MJUNI:
I think this shows that most of you actually care about the other women’s plight—and that is a good thing. This decision to work together will not only help the women with children, but it will help the women without children because we will be able to work together—and I’m sure we will achieve a lot.
170. SFX:
CHEERS.
171. CONTROL:
Mama Mjuni

 

172. Scene 4

173. Location:
Ext. Sigi’s warehouse. Day.
174. BG SFX:
Warehouse ambience.
175. Characters:
Sigi, Alex, Adam, farmer.

176. SFX:
DOOR OPENS AND SIGI AND FARMER WALK OUT.
177. FARMER:
So will you pay me the same amount for my common beans?
178. SIGI:
Now, how long have we been doing business together?
179. FARMER:
I just want to make sure that we are on the same page; that’s all.
180. SIGI:
Have no fear, my good friend; in fact, I might even double it this time!
181. FARMER:
You?! Sigi pay me double? That will be the day a dog brushes its teeth.
182. SFX:
SIGI AND THE FARMER LAUGH.
183. ALEX:
(INTERVENES, APPROACHING MIC) Excuse me, Sigi. Can we talk for a moment?
184. SIGI:
Talk? Can’t you see that I’m in the middle of a conversation here?
185. ADAM:
We can see that, but it’s really urgent.
186. SIGI:
(LAUGHS) Urgent, huh? (TURNS TO THE FARMER) These kids today … no respect whatsoever!
187. FARMER:
It’s okay, carry on. I think me and you are pretty much done here.
188. SIGI:
Okay, then in that case, I will come pick up the common beans this Wednesday.
189. FARMER:
Okay.
190. SFX:
FARMER LEAVES AND SIGI QUICKLY PULLS ADAM AND ALEX ASIDE.
191. SIGI:
(LOW TONE) Why didn’t you call me before showing up here?
192. ALEX:
We didn’t have any credit on the phone.
193. SIGI:
So you decided to come to my place of business unannounced?
194. ADAM:
Look, we forgot, Sigi. And even if we wanted to, we couldn’t because we had no credit.
195. ALEX:
Besides, it’s not like we are coming here for nothing. We have business to discuss!
196. SIGI:
(SIGHS) Are you stupid or what? You sell me stolen goods, you numbskull! What if somebody gets suspicious?
197. ADAM:
We didn’t think about that.
198. SIGI:
(ANGRILY) Well, think next time … use your head! My clients are always here; this is my place of business. I can’t have you coming and going as you please. It would raise suspicion.
199. ADAM:
Sorry, Sigi, it won’t happen again.
200. SIGI:
Aah! You are always sorry! Just make sure you call me before you come next time.
201. ADAM, ALEX:
Okay.
202. SIGI:
Okay, so what do you have for me today?
203. ALEX:
Uhm! We have a couple of car accessories … go ahead, Adam, show him.
204. SFX:
ADAM OPENS THE PLASTIC BAG CONTAINING THE MERCHANDISE.
205. ADAM:
Wait till you see—it’s the best stuff on the market. But for you, we will give you the whole thing cheap. Just 100 bucks.
206. SIGI:
Let me see that … car headlights? What will I do with them?
207. ALEX:
Come on, Sigi, we know you can get a buyer for these. You have a lot of connections.
208. SIGI:
(NONCHALANT) I’m sorry, but these things are useless to me!
209. ALEX:
(PLEADING) Come on, Sigi! Don’t do us like that, okay … okay, we will take less. For you, we’ll sell them for 50 bucks.
210. SIGI:
Okay, in that case I will take them! (LAUGHS) I can see that you are not as dumb as you look.
211. SFX:
SIGI TAKES THE PLASTIC BAG AND BEGINS TO LEAVE.
212. ALEX:
Wait, Sigi—what about the money?
213. SIGI:
You will get the money later on. Oh! And by the way, next time bring me things with more value and make sure you call me before you come!
214. SFX:
SIGI ENTERS HIS OFFICE AND CLOSES THE DOOR.
215. CONTROL:
Sigi

 

216. Scene 5

217. Location:
Ext. Mama Mjuni’s farm. Day.
218. BG SFX:
The ambience of Mama Mjuni’s farm.
219. Characters:
Mama Mjuni, Farida, Mama K, Grace, Doris, Monica, Mama Juma.

220. SFX:
CHEERING AND CLAPPING.
221. MAMA MJUNI:
I want to thank each and every one of you who has made it here today to start the first day of us working together and helping each other out. It just shows that unity is strength, and I’m really motivated and inspired. I’m surprised—I even see mama K here!
222. SFX:
THE WOMEN LAUGH.
223. MAMA MJUNI:
It just goes to show you that we are willing to put our different opinions aside and work together.
224. MAMA K:
But I have a question.
225. MAMA MJUNI:
Yes, mama K.
226. MAMA K:
Why is it that the first place we start to work is your farm?
227. MAMA JUMA:
It’s because she is the chairwoman and this is a privilege we afford her as a chairwoman.
228. FARIDA:
Yes, and for the rest of us, we have created a special timetable with special dates indicating when each of us will get a turn.
229. GRACE:
Can we get a copy of that?
230. FARIDA:
Yes, I will spread them around later, Grace.
231. MAMA MJUNI:
Okay, so I think we can proceed with the work that has brought us here today—preparation for the tilling season that is just around the corner. But first, let me introduce a special guest … please welcome the expert on agriculture, miss Lydia.
232. SFX:
OVATION FROM THE WOMEN.
233. LYDIA:
Thank you very much, my fellow ladies, and to correct Mama Mjuni, I’m not really an expert on agriculture as a whole. I have specialized in common bean farming, which I think most of you in this village know is a crop that you grow for home consumption and also sell.
I have to say that when mama Mjuni asked me to come and speak with you, I was so thrilled. I think you are all truly setting an example to women elsewhere by working together.
234. SFX:
CHEERS FROM THE WOMEN.
235. LYDIA:
So, as we all know, the tilling season is just around the corner. So today, I will walk you through the proper practices to maximize the output of your common beans harvest.
236. SFX:
CHEERS FROM THE WOMEN.
237. WOMEN:
First thing that we usually do prior to the tilling season is clear our farms of any unwanted vegetation or weeds before we plant our seeds. And that is what we’re here for today. Isn’t that right, ladies?
238. ALL:
(ENTHUSIASTICALLY) Yes!
239. LYDIA: The first thing we must understand—and this is very important—is that we shouldn’t get rid of the residues—the stalks and the roots—of previously planted common beans just yet.
240. SFX:
SURPRISED REACTION FROM THE WOMEN.
241. LYDIA:
I know you are probably asking yourselves why, and I will tell you why. It’s because these roots and residues add an extra 5-20 kg of nitrogen per hectare,which will be available for the next crop, They also improve organic matter and the movement of water and air in the soil. Which is all good for the beans!
242. DORIS:
Excuse me, but what is the use of this nitrogen?
243. LYDIA:
I’m getting to that, my dear… this nitrogen will give a good boost to your next crop, which with good practices may even yield over 800 kg per acre when you rotate to your next crop like maize.
244. SFX:
SURPRISED REACTION FROM THE CROWD.
245. MAMA K:
Well, I definitely didn’t know that!
246. MONICA:
And to think that all this time that I used to just pull out those roots. If I had left them, I would have had more bags of maize.
247. LYDIA:
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, because that alone won’t give you good harvests. You need a combination of many good practices. Another thing you must do is to remove all the unwanted vegetation and weeds when the crop is in the field. I’m sure you all know they are not good for your crops because they just compete with them for sunlight and water and soil nutrients. But it’s also important to check the fertility of the soil. If you think your soil isn’t fertile, try to get a soil test before you plant your common beans. We are introducing mobile testing centres, but they are not available everywhere. So you can hire a specialist like a village extension worker to do the soil test.
248. MAMA JUMA:
Won’t that be too expensive?
249. LYDIA:
I think it’s affordable, to tell the truth.
250. MAMA MJUNI:
I can vouch for that. I bring Lydia here before every tilling season to have my soil tested.
251. MAMA K:
But not everybody can afford that luxury!
252. LYDIA:
If you find it is too expensive to pay for it individually, you can to pool your resources together and I could do it at an affordable price for each of you.
253. GRACE:
(ENTHUSIASTIC) Yes, that would be better!
254. MONICA:
(EXCITED) Now you are talking!
255. LYDIA:
The reason to test soil for its fertility is that common beans require a moderate fertility. Also, they will not grow well in acidic or alkaline soils. So you can increase your chances for a good harvest by planting on favourable soil.
256. FARIDA:
Excuse me, but is there a remedy for that?
257. LYDIA:
Well, the best thing you can do when your soil is too acidic is to add lime to lower its acidity.
Another important thing is to plant seeds of improved varieties. Here in Tanzania, high quality improved seeds include Njano Uyole, Lyamungu 90, and Rozi koko/ kitenge. Because high quality seeds will increase your chances of a good harvest, are less susceptible to disease, and have a high value in the marketplace. Please avoid damaged or wrinkled seeds and seeds from diseased plants because they might be diseased also.
258. GRACE:
Can you recommend a good variety?
259. LYDIA:
Well, basically you have two types of common beans, the short-maturing beans which are best in drier areas. They mature quickly but don’t have very high yields. And you have the long-season beans which are better in wetter environments but give very high yields and contribute more to the fertility of the soil.
260. GRACE:
I think the long-maturing varieties are better!
261. FARIDA:
Yes, me too!
262. MAMA JUMA:
Yes.
263. LYDIA:
Well, you have to use the variety that’s most suited to conditions like the climate and soil.
264. MAMA MJUNI:
Well, my fellow ladies, I think we should get to work now because time is moving fast. We can always have Lydia come back and educate us more on this topic.
265. GRACE:
(EXCITED) Yes, that would be good!
266. MAMA MJUNI:
So there you have it, my fellow ladies. Please give a round of applause for Lydia.
267. SFX:
ROUND OF APPLAUSE.
268. FARIDA:
Okay, we will start clearing the fields with our machetes and get rid of all the unwanted vegetation.
269. MAMA MJUNI:
Yes, but may I add that we should keep in mind Lydia’s teachings today. Let’s keep in mind that we are only getting rid of the weeds and not the bean roots.
270. FARIDA:
(ENTHUSIASTIC) Okay, so let’s get to work, ladies!
271. MONICA:
But wait a minute! Wait a minute! How are we going to work without a song to motivate us, eeh?
272. GRACE:
Yes, that is true.
273. MAMA MJUNI:
Do you have any tune in mind?
274. MONICA:
I have a song but you know that I have a hoarse voice!
275. SFX:
WOMEN LAUGH.
276. MAMA MJUNI:
Then who should lead us on a song? I think it should be mama K.
277. MAMA K:
No way! Somebody else should do it!
278. GRACE:
Farida should lead; she has a lovely voice. I heard her singing to some taarab one day.
279. FARIDA:
(SHY LAUGH) Okay, then I will lead.
280. SFX:
FARIDA STARTS A TUNE WHILE OTHER WOMEN HUM IN THE BACKGROUND.
281. FARIDA:
(SINGING) My dear women with the hoes in our hands; the future is ours. Let us arise now; the time is ripe.
282. MZEE ALI:
(INTERRUPTS) Excuse me, ladies, but can I join in on the fun?
283. SFX:
THE WOMEN CHEER FOR MZEE ALI AND HE JOINS IN ON THE WORK.
284. SFX:
FARIDA CONTINUES TO SING AND THEY KEEP WORKING.
285. CONTROL:
Mama Mjuni.

 

286. Scene 6

287. Location:
Int. Farida’s house. Afternoon.
288. BG SFX:
Farida’s house ambience.
289. Characters:
Farida, Jenny.

290. JENNY:
(SURPRISED) You are not serious … you are joking, right?
291. FARIDA:
No, I’m not joking. Mzee Ali really did join in on our song and begin working with us.
292. JENNY:
God bless his heart—he is so different!
293. FARIDA:
I know, right? If all the men in the village were like Mzee Ali, things would be so different.
294. JENNY:
Keep dreaming, my dear. It will never happen.
295. SFX:
FARIDA AND JENNY LAUGH.
296. JENNY:
I wish I was there with you guys. It sounds like you had so much fun.
297. FARIDA:
The problem with you is that you are always too busy with your garage. You need to give yourself time for other things. You know you hardly even attend the meetings these days.
298. JENNY:
Yes, I know, but I will try to find time to come to the meeting to at least work with the women.
299. FARIDA:
Yes, you better. You don’t want the word to go around that you are not helping with the field work. Because when it’s your turn, the other women will turn on you.
300. JENNY:
Yes, you are right about that.
301. STELLA:
You know I even asked Adam to join the vicoba.
302. JENNY:
Oh really? What did she say?
303. FARIDA:
She said that she will join eventually. She just needs time to settle in.
304. JENNY:
Yes, that makes sense.
305. FARIDA:
So how have things been with you? It’s been a while since we sat down and had a proper chat.
306. JENNY:
It’s been hectic with work and, you know, Vumi had a bad case of malaria so I had to look after him and take care of him.
307. FARIDA:
Oh! My goodness, I’m sorry to hear that. How is he holding up now?
308. JENNY:
He has been doing well now at least. His mother came to stay with us for a few days, you know to help out.
309. FARIDA:
Really? And how has she been?
310. JENNY:
Oh, Farida, it was hell! I don’t know what to do to impress this woman; she constantly scrutinized whatever I did.
311. FARIDA:
(LAUGHS) Welcome to the club, my dear.
312. JENNY:
To tell the truth, Farida, I don’t know how you do it, dealing with constant scrutiny from your in-laws.
313. FARIDA:
It hasn’t been easy. You don’t know how many times I thought about leaving my husband and just going away. But I thought about the kids—who would look after them when I’m gone?
314. JENNY:
Yes, it’s true, my dear; your children depend on you.
315. FARIDA:
Jenny, you don’t know how much I have had to put up from that man and his family.
316. JENNY:
I know you’ve been through a lot, my dear.
317. FARIDA:
It hasn’t been easy. If I wasn’t for my children, I don’t know where I would be right now.
318. JENNY:
Farida, I commend you on being strong for your children. But you need to also look after yourself. Things may reach a point where he really causes great damage to you.
319. FARIDA:
Jenny, at this point all I care about is my kids. I don’t really care what happens to me.
320. JENNY:
Farida, you have to look out for yourself. Promise me you will look after yourself.
321. FARIDA:
I promise.
322. CONTROL:
Farida

 

323. Scene 7

324. Location:
Int. Farida’s house. Late afternoon.
325. BG SFX:
Advert on radio.
326. Characters:
Farida, Afande Kaifa, Zuhura, Sifa.

327. SFX:
ADVERT ON RADIO.
328. MAN ON RADIO:
Come one, come all today starting from 1 o’clock in the afternoon to the Uhuru grounds for the event held by the TUNU organization. There is no entrance fee and people of all ages are welcome to learn more about agriculture and its good practices. There will also be games for children! You are welcome!
329. ZUHURA:
Mama, can we go?
330. FARIDA:
Go where?
331. ZUHURA:
That place they are talking about on the radio.
332. FARIDA:
Yes, we will go, but finish your breakfast first.
333. SIFA:
Mama, even I want to go!
334. AFANDE KAIFA:
(APPROACHING MIC) What is all the commotion in here?

335. FARIDA:
Your daughters want to go to that event they have been broadcasting about on the radio.
336. AFANDE KAIFA:
What event?

337. FARIDA:
There is an event being held today at the Uhuru grounds by an organization known as TUNU focusing on educating people on good agricultural practices.
338. AFANDE KAIFA:
And why would these two want to go?

339. FARIDA:
(LAUGHS) Because they heard that there will be children’s games.
340. AFANDE KAIFA:
And what about school?

341. FARIDA:
The event is in the afternoon. By that time, they will be back from school. I can take them afterwards and bring them back home.
342. AFANDE KAIFA:
Why do I get the feeling that you are the one who wants to go more than these kids?

343. FARIDA:
Yes, I want to go too—who wouldn’t want to go? After being in this house all day? I think it’s good for me and the kids too. And besides, it’s good because I will learn a lot at that event that will help with our common beans farming here at home.
344. AFANDE KAIFA:
Okay, you can go, but just make sure you prepare my food before you leave.

345. FARIDA:
Okay, I will.
346. AFANDE KAIFA:
And make sure you come back early. Don’t stay out too late.

347. CONTROL:
Farida

 

348. Scene 8

349. Location:
Ext. Uhuru grounds. Afternoon.
350. BG SFX:
The ambience of the Uhuru grounds.
351. Characters:
Grace, Farida, Mama Mjuni, Mama K, Mzee Ali, Vumi, Mjuni, Zuhura.

352. SFX:
MUSIC PLAYING IN THE BACKGROUND.
353. MAMA MJUNI:
(EXCITED) Heeh! Farida, I see you came with your two bodyguards!
354. FARIDA:
(LAUGHS) They wouldn’t take no for an answer; they wanted to come along to play with the other kids.
355. ZUHURA, SIFA:
Shikamoo!

356. MAMA MJUNI:
Marahaba! I started to think you were not coming!
357. FARIDA:
Oh! I didn’t want to miss this. When is the event going to start?
358. MAMA MJUNI:
I think it will start in a few minutes!
359. FARIDA:
I see a lot of people in the village have showed up.
360. MAMA MJUNI:
Yes. Come on; let’s go around and greet the other people.
361. SFX:
MAMA MJUNI AND FARIDA HEAD TOWARDS MZEE ALI AND VUMI WHO ARE TALKING.
362. VUMI:
(PASSIONATE) I’m telling you this year is our year; you just wait and see. We are going to win the cup this year; you just watch.
363. MZEE ALI:
But how can you win when my team is also looking superb this year? No chance; we have the best team in the league!
364. VUMI:
Says who?
365. MZEE ALI:
I say so!
366. MAMA MJUNI:
(APPROACHING MIC) Just what I thought—always arguing about football!
367. FARIDA:
(LAUGHS) What did you expect?
368. MZEE ALI:
My wife, what else is there to talk about?
369. MAMA MJUNI:
Plenty of constructive things instead of wasting time arguing about football.
370. VUMI:
It’s better to talk about football than the time you women spend talking about your hair.
371. SFX:
THEY ALL BREAK DOWN LAUGHING.
372. SFX:
THE SPEAKER FOR THE EVENT TRIES TO GET PEOPLE’S ATTENTION.
373. SPEAKER:
May I have your attention, my beloved people! I hope you are all having a wonderful time at this TUNU organization event. Are you having fun?
374. ALL:
(CHEERFULLY) YES!
375. SPEAKER:
That is very good! I know you may be wondering what is TUNU organization is and what do we do… In short, we help small-scale farmers.
376. MAMA K:
(INTERRUPTS) Do you give out money to small farmers?
377. SFX:
LAUGHING.
378. SPEAKER:
No, we don’t give out money, madam.
379. MAMA K:
Well then, what’s the point?
380. SPEAKER:
Well, I think we give out something which is better than money. We help them gain knowledge of good agricultural practices which, if they use them to their advantage, can help them in the long run because they will be able to make a lot of money by selling their crops in the market. So are there any small-scale farmers who work in groups in this crowd today?
381. SFX:
MAMA MJUNI COMES FORWARD.
382. MAMA MJUNI:
Excuse me, my dear, but we do have a vicoba group where I am the chairwoman. Recently, we decided to work together in agricultural activities and help each other during the tilling and harvest seasons.
383. SPEAKER:
That is very good! Where are the rest of the members of this group?
384. SFX:
MAMA MJUNI CALLS OUT TO THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE GROUP.
385. MAMA MJUNI:
Farida, Grace, Mama K, come forward.
386. SPEAKER:
Are these the only members of your group?
387. FARIDA:
No, there are many of us, but some didn’t come today.
388. SPEAKER:
Where are they? This is a perfect opportunity to learn as a group!
389. MAN:
(SHOUTS) They are at home cooking like good women are supposed to do!
390. SFX:
A COUPLE OF LAUGHS FROM THE CROWD.
391. MAMA MJUNI:
Unfortunately, although people are laughing, that is true. Most women are expected to stay home and tend to their husbands and family, and sometimes they miss out on important events as these.
392. FARIDA:
Yes, most of the women are denied the right to attend events like this although they are the main ones who perform the hard jobs in the fields.
393. SPEAKER:
Well, that’s very unfortunate. But today, I expect you to pass on the knowledge you receive here today to the other members of your group.
394. MAMA MJUNI:
Yes.
395. SPEAKER:
I will ask to meet with all of you by the end of this event later on before you leave for your homes.
396. MAMA MJUNI:
Okay.
397. SPEAKER:
So for now, let’s continue with our event. We will start with some quiz questions and the first question is for children only. The lucky winner of this question will get a T-shirt. Are you ready, children?
398. CHILDREN:
(CHEERFULLY) Yees!
399. SPEAKER:
Okay the first question is … what is the most prominent crop grown in this village?
400. SFX:
ALL THE CHILDREN FIGHT TO ANSWER THE QUESTION.
401. SPEAKER:
Okay, you little girl there carrying your baby sister— what is the answer?
402. ZUHURA:
(NERVOUS) Me?
403. SPEAKER:
Yes, you.
404. ZUHURA:
It’s common beans!
405. SPEAKER:
Very good—that is the correct answer! What is your name, baby girl?
406. ZUHURA:
My name is Zuhura!
407. SPEAKER:
Okay, Zuhura, you won yourself a beautiful T-shirt. Come on stage to collect your prize.
408. SFX:
PEOPLE CHEER FOR ZUHURA AS SHE GOES ON STAGE TO COLLECT HER PRIZE.
409. SPEAKER:
Here you go, Zuhura!
410. ZUHURA:
(HAPPILY) Thank you!
411. SPEAKER:
Give another round of applause for Zuhura, please.
412. SFX:
CROWD CLAPS FOR ZUHURA.
413. SPEAKER:
Okay, now I’m starting to ask difficult questions because I only have few prizes here with me today and only a few people can walk away with the prizes. The next question is … What is the correct spacing when planting common beans?
414. SFX:
NO RESPONSE FROM THE CROWD.
415. SPEAKER:
Anybody? Nobody? Okay, I will help with this one. There are two types of spacing. First of all, when you plant common beans as the only plant, the correct spacing is 50 cm between plant rows. Within rows, you have to plant two seeds every 20 cm or one seed every 10 cm. And the other type of spacing is when you intercrop common beans with plants such as maize. Now, let’s say you are intercropping common beans with maize … you need to plant maize at 75 cm between rows and plant a row of beans in between the rows of maize.
416. GRACE:
I have a question.
417. SPEAKER:
Yes.
418. GRACE:
What can you use to measure the spacing?
419. SPEAKER:
Well, if you don’t have a tape measure, you can clip soda tops to a string at the appropriate distances.
Okay now, the last question before we go for a break … can anyone name the advantages of correct spacing for common beans?
420. GRACE:
It helps the common beans to grow more freely by not tangling between one another, and also it saves you time during weeding and harvesting. Also, farmers usually don’t plant densely enough, so correct spacing increases the number of plants in the field, which increases yield.
421. SPEAKER:
Smart girl, but before you collect your price, I have one more question for you … when is the time to do the first weeding?
422. SFX:
GRACE REMAINS QUIET.
423. SPEAKER:
You don’t know the answer?
424. GRACE:
No, I don’t!
425. SPEAKER:
Okay, let me help you with that. It’s fair enough since you answered some of the questions … The proper time for weeding is two weeks after you plant your common beans and for the second weeding between five to six weeks after planting. Okay, please give her a round of applause.
426. SFX:
THE CROWD GIVE GRACE A ROUND OF APPLAUSE.
427. CONTROL:
Speaker.

 

428. Scene 9

429. Location:
Ext. Farida’s home. Night.
430. BG SFX:
Knocking on door.
431. Characters:
Afande Kaifa, Zuhura, Sifa, Hafsa, Farida, Jenny.

432. SFX:
KNOCKING ON DOOR.
433. AFANDE KAIFA:
Faridaa!

434. SFX:
KNOCKING ON DOOR CONTINUES.
435. AFANDE KAIFA:
Faridaa!

436. SFX:
DOOR IS OPENED.
437. SIFA:
Shikamoo, baba!
438. AFANDE KAIFA:
Marahaba! Why did you lock the door? And where is your mother?

439. SIFA:
She went out.
440. AFANDE KAIFA:
What do you mean she went out?

441. ZUHURA:
She told us to tell you that if you ask for her, that she is at aunt Jenny’s.
442. AFANDE KAIFA:
At aunt Jenny’s?! Has this woman finally gone insane or what? Did you eat?

443. SIFA:
Yes.
444. AFANDE KAIFA:
Did you go with your mother to that event?

445. ZUHURA:
Yes.
446. AFANDE KAIFA:
And what time did you return?

447. ZUHURA:
Not so long ago. When we came, she gave us food and then she changed her clothes and left.
448. SFX:
IN A FIT OF RAGE, AFANDE KAIFA THROWS STUFF AROUND THE HOUSE.
449. AFANDE KAIFA:
(ANGRILY) This poor excuse of a woman! Today she will wish she was never born!

450. SFX:
AFANDE KAIFA’S RAGE CAUSES THE LITTLE HAFSA TO START CRYING.
451. AFANDE KAIFA:
Okay, look after you baby sister. I’m going to look for your mother!

452. SFX:
AFANDE KAIFA STORMS OUT OF THE HOUSE.
453.
FADE OUT
454.
FADE IN
455. SFX:
AFANDE KAIFA KNOCKING ON DOOR ANGRILY.
456. SFX:
VUMI OPENS THE DOOR.
457. VUMI:
(SURPRISED) Oh! Mr. Kaifa, are you okay? How can I help you?
458. AFANDE KAIFA:
Is your wife home?

459. VUMI:
Yes.
460. JENNY:
(APPROACHING MIC) Oh! Kaifa, what’s the matter?
461. AFANDE KAIFA:
Is my wife here?
462. JENNY:
No, why?
463. AFANDE KAIFA:
Was she here?

464. JENNY:
(SHE DOESN’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY) Well … well … I … I …
465. VUMI:
(INTERRUPTS) Listen, she is not here because I was here the whole day.
466. AFANDE KAIFA:
Okay, so when you see her, you must tell her to find another place to sleep because I don’t want to see her again.
467. JENNY:
(CONFUSED) What … what … what happened?
468. AFANDE KAIFA:
She left my children at home at this hour of the night while she went away to God knows where, and she had the audacity to tell them to tell me that she is here with you!
469. JENNY:
Wait, Kaifa … Maybe there is an explanation.
470. SFX:
AFANDE KAIFA STARTS TO LEAVE.
471. AFANDE KAIFA:
Well, I don’t want to hear it! Just tell her to stay away from me and my children! And if she truly cares for her own well-being, then she should not come back!
472. JENNY:
Wait! Kaifa! Kaifa! Kaifa!
473. SFX:
NO RESPONSE FROM KAIFA WHO DISAPPEARS INTO THE NIGHT.
474. CONTROL:
Afande Kaifa

Acknowledgements

Contributed by: Kheri Mkali, script writer, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Reviewed by: Frederick Baijukya, agronomist and N2 country coordinator for Tanzania, International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA), East Africa Hub, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

This work was carried out with the aid of a grant from the International Development Research Centre, Ottawa, Canada, www.idrc.ca, and with financial support from the Government of Canada, provided through Global Affairs Canada, www.international.gc.ca

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