Renowned Mozambican actress, Lucrecia Paco visits the Aga Khan Academy Maputo | Aga Khan Academies

Renowned Mozambican actress, Lucrecia Paco visits the Aga Khan Academy Maputo

18 November 2018

As a part of the unit on autobiographical writing and research focusing on the drama industry, our PYP and MYP students were privileged to receive a visit from the internationally renowned Mozambican actress Lucrecia Paco in the month of October. The actress belongs to Mutumbele Gogo, the first theatre group in Mozambique, and works professionally in the industry. She came to the Academy to share her experience, which enabled students to explore how autobiographical writing enables individuals to present perspectives on their identity, relationships and life experiences.

Ms Paco was given a tour of the school by MYP students Nicola Amade, Johanna Ferrão, Oldemiro Juliase and Thayaka Mutemaba before she went into the classes. After the tour, she addressed our MYP students in their Portuguese lesson. Abayomi Mutembe, a grade 6 student, commented that Ms Paco began by entering the classroom in a comic way, pretending to creep into the room before introducing herself to the students. He added that it was quite easy to see that she was an actress. After listening to Ms Paco’s life experiences, Shanty Aly of grade 7 explained that school must have been difficult, as Ms Paco attended school at a time when children of different ethnicities were forced to attend separate schools. Both Abayomi and Shanty explained that Ms Paco talked about how she had two names – her Roangan name, Zazama Missava, and the name by which she was registered at birth, Lucrecia Paco.

Ms Paco went on to discuss her passion for theatre. The students said she was courageous because she continued to follow her dream despite the fact that her father did not want her to work in the theatre. She then responded to some of the questions that students asked her. Abayomi asked how she overcame her fears when she first started acting, to which Ms Paco responded that the first time she stepped on stage she breathed deeply and stepped out in character. She said that it was both exciting and scary, but she was glad that she had done it.

Hezler Muando, another grade 7 student, was interested in finding out more about the family structure that Ms Paco had grown up in, and asked her what it was like to grow up in a polygamous family with nine siblings and second mother. She said that was normal as they lived in the same place as one big family. They had good relationships, and she considers her sister from another mother as her twin.

Ilundy Mbeve of grade 6 inquired about the different kinds of games Ms Paco had played when she was a child, which led her to show the students how to play some of them, including Kukumbezani Mwana Manani. Shanty commented that it was really interesting to play the games that relied on concentration because everything was explained really well. Everyone then played the games and enjoyed joining in. Shanty commented, and all the other students agreed, that Ms Paco’s visit to our Academy was both interesting and lots of fun. 

After meeting our MYP students, Ms Paco also visited our grade 4 class as a guest speaker. The grade 4 students have been studying drama and had done some research during which they found out about the Mutumbele Gogo Theatre Company. It was an exciting experience for them to meet someone from the group that was part of their research. They were able to ask the guest speaker questions, which gave them extensive knowledge about the drama industry and theatres.

Ms Adilia, our Portuguese teacher, added, “The visit was really productive for our students as they were able to see that in life, with focus and dedication we can achieve success, even if sometimes people put fences in our way because they don’t believe in our dreams.”