TRACES is an engaging show that highlights the rich history of Africa, its cultural and ethnic diversity and its inhabitants. It is theatre, dance, poetry, music and other forms of performance art fused together to present Africa to the World! It is an annual event birthed in 2011 out of the need to express the various aspects of Africa. Every year a group of passionate and dedicated University of Waterloo students commit their time, efforts, creativity and talents to bring TRACES to life. They tell stories, birth movements, relive history, challenge the future and touch many hearts doing so.

Traces 2017: “Zemawa”

This year, the goal of Traces was to show what our interpretation of an “East meets West” fusion looks like. This year’s play is titled “Zemawa” meaning “My Melody” in Amharic, an Ethiopian language. In the past we’ve focused on highlighting various regions of Africa and this year we wanted to showcase through acting, dancing and music what life looks like when a family unit is made up of East and West African individuals. With issues such as cultural identify, bareness and physical abuse all addressed within the play, the central theme surrounding Zemawa is how cultural differences affect the way the varying issues are addressed.
We are extremely excited to feature this much anticipated play come the end January 2017 and hope you make plans with friends and family to join UWASA as we laugh, cry and critique our way through Traces 2017: Zemawa.

Down Memory Lane

#TRACES2016: “Lalela”

LALELA is an Zulu word from the Southern Part of Africa which simply means to Listen. More preferably, “to pay attention”. We used LALELA as a step to not only showing what we go through via an African lens, but also highlighting the underlying reasons why we go through them, and the lessons we learn from them. LALELA is about subconsciously hearing the misconceptions the media displays but paying attention and listening to what the media doesn’t tell you..

#TRACES2015: “Sankofa”

TRACES 2015, themed “SANKOFA”, translates to “To return” or “go back and get it” in the Twi language of Ghana. SANKOFA was a step towards further to allow what we have seen in looking to our past to make an impact of the way we do things going forward. It told the story of a young man who was sponsored to study abroad in efforts to use his education to better his people back home. However, he got lost in the pleasures of his situation abroad. By the time he realized how much his people needed him, it was too late and he learnt the hard way.

#TRACES2013: “Keza Kunda”

TRACES 2013 was titled “Keza Kunda,” which translates to Beautiful Love in Kinyarwanda. Keza Kunda was a love story that captured some of the struggles of Africans in the diaspora as they return home. A young prince who is drawn home after the death of his father is forced to find a bride and take his father\\\’s throne. He grows to fall in love with his beautiful bestfriend who comes along with him and we see as the kingdom comes to terms with a foreigner being the righthand of their soon-to-be ruler

#TRACES2012: “Le Conte Epique”

TRACES 2012, entitled “Le Conte Epique” which translates to “The Epic Tale” in French, retold the story of Africa and the events that led to our present day diaspora. Using a dance-drama with song and spoken word infusions, we captured the pain and anguish of slavery and collonialism while celebrating the richness of African heritage and culture.

#TRACES2011: “Ripple Effect”

The first ever show in 2011 was entitled “Ripple Effect”. It told the story of a young lady who breaks the heart of her young lover and as a result of her actions is cheated on by her next lover. The performances revolved around our African lady and the various emotions. We aimed to tell a simple story and in so doing, make our audience fall in love with our continent

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