Damyna the Musical
Family secrets and a witch doctor’s spells conspire to confuse the life of an orphaned girl whose quest for love brings her traditional African village into conflict with the sophisticated world of international development agencies.
A tranquil African village is thrown into turmoil when Damyna, a poor abandoned girl, becomes torn between her love for the boy she grew up with and the handsome, suave stranger who strides into her life.
Damyna is brought up by a kindly ‘aunt’ who has paid off her father’s moneylender to secure the girl’s freedom.
She grows into a young woman knowing that the aunt’s son, Por Phiri, is not her brother, contrary to his believe that they are siblings.
Trouble arrives when two dynamic consultants, Kati Pault and Given Chansa, arrive from the city on a mission to 'improve' the villagers’ farming skills.
An interfering witch doctor ensures that Por falls in love with Kati and Given falls in love with Damyna, and the two villagers find themselves living the highlife in a cafe in town. But before matters get further out of hand, the witch doctor realises his mistake and attempts to reverse his spell, only to be faced with opposition from Damyna's adopted mother's husband, a lookalike who claims to be father of both Damyna and Por.
But Damyna's adoptive mother recognises their love and reveals her husband is not the father of her son, freeing Damyna and Por to marry while preserving her original secret of their uncommon heritage.
The wedding scene reveals an unexpected guest: Damyna's high-ranking wayward real father – bearing a striking resemblance to the witch doctor who caused the mayhem in the first place.
Songs & Singers
|Chongwe Chongwe||Farmer chorus (Josephine Kachiza, Evelyn Chisenga, Maria Kachiza, Ulande Nkomesha, Danani Longwe, Tom Chiponge)|
|When I was Young||Damyna (Josephine Kachiza)|
|Good-looking Woman||Por Phiri (Mubita Ling'ope)|
|Oh, Ah, it’s me||Ms Bwalya (Nulukena Lubosi)|
|Coming in a Car||Damyna (Josephine Kachiza) and Por Phiri (Mubita Long'ope), Chorus|
|Saving Africa||Kati Pault (Hilda Kamizhi), Given Chansa (Dude Mubuaeta), Por Phiri (Mubita Ling'ope), Mr Farmer (Emmuel Muleta), Mrs Farmer (Gloria Siisii), Chorus|
|What is your Name?||Kati Pault (Hilda Kamizhi), Given Chansa (Dude Mubuaeta), Por Phiri (Mubita Ling'ope), Chorus|
|You may think I’m a Curiosity||Witch doctor (Tom Chiponge), Chorus|
|Iwe Damyna||Farmers (Ulande Nkomesha, Mike Tembo, Charity Chisenga), Chorus|
|Stand a Chance||Por Phiri (Mubita Ling'ope), Damyna (Josephine Kachiza), Mr Farmer (Emmanuel Muleta), Chorus|
|Pretty Young Thing||Given Chansa (Dude Mubuaeta), Damyna (Josephine Kachiza)|
|See you then||Damyna (Josephine Kachiza), Given Chansa (Dude Mubuaeta), Por Phiri (Mubita Ling'ope), Kati Pault (Hilda Kamizhi), Chorus|
|Here we are in Town||Mr Townie (Emmanuel Muleta), Mrs Townie (Gloria Siisii), bar staff (Ulande Nkomesha, Danani Longwe, Daniel Mwalwembe)|
|Dead indebted Dad||Given Chansa (Dude Mubuaeta), Mr Townie (Emmanuel Muleta), Mrs Townie (Gloria Siisii), Chorus|
|What are you doing here?||Damyna (Josephine Kachiza), Given Chansa (Dude Mubuaeta), Ms Bwalya (Nulukena Lubosi), Chorus|
|Quite a Party||Por Phiri (Mubita Ling'ope), Ms Bwalya (Nulukena Lubosi), Damyna (Josephine Kachiza)|
|Doubting Given||Damyna (Josephine Kachiza), Mrs Townie (Emmanuel Muleta), Mrs Townie (Gloria Siisii)|
|Pouting Por||Por Phiri (Mubita Ling'ope), Kati Pault (Hilda Kamizhi), Mr Townie (Emmanuel Muleta), Mrs Townie (Gloria Siisii)|
|The Fates of These||Witch doctor (Tom Chiponge), Chorus|
|I have had a Dream||Mrs Bwalya (Nulukena Lubosi), Chorus|
|Oh Mother!||Por Phiri (Mubita Ling'ope), Damyna (Josephine Kachiza), Mr Townie (Emmanuel Muleta), Mrs Townie (Gloria Siisii), Chorus|
|Have you been here for Long?||Given Chansa (Dude Mubuaeta), Kati Pault (Hilda Kamizhi)|
|Getting along Fine||Por Phiri (Mubita Ling'ope), Damyna (Josephine Kachiza), Kati Pault (Hilda Kamizhi), Given Chansa (Dude Mubuaeta), Mr Townie (Emmanuel Muleta), Mrs Townie (Gloria Siisii), Chorus|
|I Remember your Mother||Mr Bwalya (Tom Chiponge), Chorus|
|Oh, what a Man!||Barmen (Ulande Nkomesha, Danani Longwe, Daniel Mwalwembe), waitress and female guest (Evelyn Chisenga, Maria Kachiza)|
|Drunken Bum||Ms Bwalya (Nulukena Lubosi)|
|The Marriage song||Por Phiri (Mubita Ling'ope), Mr Townie (Emmanuel Muleta), Mrs Townie (Gloria Siisii), Chorus|
|Damyna||Josephine Kachiza||Kati Pault in Damyna Damyna the opera|
|Por Phiri||Mubita Ling'ope||Damyna the Musical|
|Mrs Bwalya||Nulukena Lubosi||Belita (heroine) in The Legend of Konga Mato|
|Kati Pault||Sabrina Butts||Damyna the Musical|
|Given Chansa||Dude Mubuaeta||Damyna the Musical|
|Mrs Farmer/Townie||Gloria Siisii||Damyna the Musical|
|Mr Farmer/Townie||Emmanuel Muleta||Peri Phiri in The Legend of Konga Mato|
|Witch Doctor, Mr Bwalya, Damyna's father||Tom Chiponge||Chorus member in Damyna Damyna the opera, Narrator in The Legend of Konga Mato|
|Taxi driver||Damyna the Musical|
|Guard, friend of drunk, preacher||Evans||Damyna the Musical|
|Damyna's village friend, bar client||Charity Chisenga||Damyna the Musical|
|Damyna's village friend's lover, bar client||Mike Tembo||Runner in The Legend of Konga Mato|
|Village drunk, bar staff||Danani Longwe||Chorus member in Damyna Damyna the opera|
|Village farmer, bar staff||Ulande Nkomesha||Chorus member in Damyna Damyna the opera|
|Village local, bar staff||Daniel Mwalwembe||Chorus member in Damyna Damyna the opera, Blue Jeans in The Legend of Konga Mato|
|Village local, bar client||Maria Kachiza||Chorus member in Damyna Damyna the opera and The Legend of Konga Mato|
|Bar client||Bube Kalala||Damyna the Musical. Writer at Langmead & Baker Ltd.|
|Bar client||Mukuka Mulenga||Damyna the Musical. Writer at Langmead & Baker Ltd.|
|Village local, bar staff||Evelyn Chisenga||Chorus member in The Legend of Konga Mato|
|Village local, bar client||Tulani Banda||Damyna the Musical.|
|Writer, Composer & Director||Peter Langmead||Librettist, Composer and Director of Damyna Damyna the opera and The Legend of Konga Mato|
|Asst. Director, Music Editor and Casting Director||Joseph Muyunda||Music Director of The Legend of Konga Mato|
|Producer||Langmead & Baker Ltd||Damyna Damyna the opera, The Legend of Konga Mato|
|Director of Photography||Denis Borrow||Cinematography includes: The Queen's Longest Reign: Elizabeth & Victoria; Richard Attenborough: A Life in Film; River Deep, Mountain High: James Nesbitt in New Zealand; Norman Wisdom: His Story; Rihanna - Good Girl Gone Bad: Live.|
|Editor & 2nd Unit Cameraman||Kalenga Mwansa||Cinematographer and editor at Langmead & Baker Ltd. Cinematography and editing for The Legend of Konga Mato|
|Costume & Makeup||Sabrina Butts||Damyna the Musical.|
|Video effects, Trailer, Artworks||Maapala Musonda||Graphic designer at Langmead & Baker Ltd|
|Production assistant and driver||Daniel Mwalwembe||Photographer at Langmead & Baker Ltd. Damyna Damyna the opera, The Legend of Konga Mato|
|Driver's assistant||Evans||Damyna the Musical.|
|Kati Pault's dubbing singer||Hilda Kamizhi||Damyna the Musical.|
|Bus driver & Transport management||Lawrence||Damyna the Musical.|
|Soundman||Daniel Tonga||Writer at Langmead & Baker Ltd|
|Sound mix||Tom Chiponge||Writer at Langmead & Baker Ltd|
|Colour correction & grading||Petrovs Raitis||Documentary 2015: The Soho I Love. Short Films 2015: False Reality; Perfect; The Drone.|
Producer, director and screenwriter Peter Langmead is an independent thinker who sees the world differently from most people; a polymath who uses both the logical left hand side of his brain, and the creative right hand side, in equal measure.
Damyna the Musical is a reflection of this, and combines the tale of a rural romance with the subtext of his observation and exploration of African culture, bringing together 40 years of experience of working with rural communities across the continent, viewed with the perspective of an outsider who is equally at home in the worlds of international finance and fine art as in the countryside.
In doing so, he communicates the vibrancy of life, chronicles the aspirations of ordinary people and portrays a long overdue positive image of African life.
Born in March 1953 in Swanage, UK, he started his career as a photographer, studying at Salisbury College of Art, and then working mostly in Nigeria for World Bank development projects as a Communications Specialist, making video and radio programmes and supporting media materials for agricultural extension services.
Through his 30s Peter worked as a development consultant throughout Africa and Asia before returning to the UK as a mature student and obtaining an MBA from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and an MSc in Finance and a PhD in Finance and Accounting from Strathclyde University in Glasgow. He then re-emerged as an agro-development consultant in Zambia, where he now lives. After a lifetime in agricultural development and a desire to write and produce operas, Peter completed a BA (Hons) in Creative Arts and wrote and produced Damyna, Damyna the Opera, which premiered at the Lusaka Playhouse in April 2014. In April 2015 he produced his second opera, The Legend of Konga Mato.
Peter Langmead rewrote Damyna Damyna the opera as a screenplay and made his first feature film, Damyna the Musical. Completing principal photography in June 2016 with renowned BBC lighting cameraman Denis Borrow (Superman The Queen at 80, Richard Attenborough: A Life in Film, Piers Morgan On..., William & Kate: A Royal Engagement) as Director of Photography and a full cast of talented Zambian singers, actors, and technicians.
The film is in late post-production and is expected to be ready in November 2016.
While completing ‘Damyna the Musical’, Peter Langmead is working on the script of his second film Borderline (working title), which is expected to be a musical, produced in Zambia, for release in late 2017.
We left our farm for a house in Lusaka. Our Zambian assistant, his wife and son, and his furniture, came with us. On the day of departure, an unexpected five-year-old girl appeared, who ‘looked after’ our assistant’s son.
Suddenly, those children selling tomatoes when others were at school were explained: an inherited orphan child pays and does not go to school. Here is Damyna, and she is not at school. Later, the girl is pretty and her husband must pay lobola [bride price]. There are doubts about her father and her step brother. She marries. The adoptive mother wants lobola; the young woman wants love. And then there is the witch doctor...
The story became my opera Damyna Damyna, performed in the Lusaka Playhouse in April 2014, and then I wrote the screenplay.
Damyna hopes to marry her brother Por, except she must keep up the pretence of being his sister. Only she and Ms Bwalya, her adoptive mother, know the truth. Two young consultants visit the family’s village to improve their farm’s productivity. They unwittingly become the subject of games by an incompetent witch doctor. Ms Bwalya’s husband claims to have fathered both Por and Damyna, which confounds the witch doctor and everyone else, but Damyna realises her dreams could yet come true.
Where women have no choice or voice, Damyna the Musical reflects on philandering men who neglect and deny their children, resulting in unschooled orphans and second class citizens, often without identity. Secondary themes are belief in witch doctors, mixed race relationships, human ‘ownership’, adoption issues and responsibilities, and ill-advised donor activity. The film explores the inherent dualities of wealth and poverty, rural and urban spaces, multiculturalism and the educated and uneducated, along with concepts of racism, feminism, inequality, sexism and colonialism.
The acting is natural, direct, simple and true while placement accommodates the visual and aural design. The primordial images of the village introduce rural living and environment. The huts, hoes, animals, chickens, local dress and behaviour are metaphors for country living, while the café, town dress and behaviour are metaphors of urban life. Mr and Mrs Farmer and their urban counterparts Mr and Mrs Townie characterise farm and town stereotypes, while the witch doctor represents capriciousness, fate and faddish donor interventions. Backgrounds, moods, pace, costumes and colours are consistent with the duality of rural and urban life.
Camera movements are limited by the agricultural tone of the film. Reflectors with daylight and limited secondary light for interiors give natural colouring that is consistent with the costumes and characters. The slower country pace is conveyed by longer takes and simple transitions. The singing is mostly recorded to camera while the witch doctor is defined by his visual effects and magical motifs. The music from the opera retains its structure of contrast, mood, key and juxtaposition.