Puppetry: Mathare 4A


On 26thOctober 2023, Nzumari Africa took the Samosa Festival to Heide Marie Primary School in Mathare Area 4 where they engaged approximately 350 pupils and 2 teachers in a puppetry performance and discussion on Education Safety and Life skills.

Synopsis of the performance

Slippers is a pupil in a primary school. She has 2 schoolmates who are his friends. They try to influence her to drop school so that they can start working for money. Their intention is for her to be on the streets free from parental control and also to manipulate her to have sexual intercourse with them by having a sexual relationship.

Question to pupils

What did you learn from the performance/ what message were they trying to drive?

  1. Friends can influence our decisions and behaviors. We should choose our friends wisely.
  2. We should value education as it gives us knowledge to help us be responsible people in the society.
  3. We should have healthy relationships with our friends. They should respect us and not try to influence us into harmful/risky behaviors.

What would you have done better if you were in Slippers situation?

  1. I would have been assertive with my friends to resist the temptation to drop out of school.
  2. I would have talked to a trusted person.
  3. I would have  walked away from such negative friends.

What are some of the effects of such situations?

  1. School drop out.
  2. Child labor
  3. Unintended pregnancy
  4. Stigma and discrimination from the community/friends.
  5. Drug Abuse
  6. One might end up being a street child.
  7. Violence

From the performance what factors contributed to what resulted to Nina?

  1. Peer pressure; Slippers was easily influenced to drop out of school with her friends.
  2. Poverty;  Slippers couldn’t get the basic needs at home that are necessary for survival such as food
  3. Negative friends; bad friends who don’t respect one’s boundaries and are very aggressive.

What would you do to ensure that your are not at risk of dropping out of school and engaging in risky behaviors?

  1. Having good friends who influence one in a positive way
  2. Being Assertive – knowing what I want in my life
  3. Participate in extra curricular activities during leisure time.
  4. Build healthy relationships.
  5. Have a personal learning timetable for revision during the holiday.

Teacher’s input

The teacher encouraged the pupils to be attentive during the show. She also highlighted the importance of the session to the pupils as they were closing schools for the long holiday.


  1. The message was so impactful since it depicted the challenges pupils sometimes face. They were able to relate with it.
  2. The teachers were impressed with the session. Since schools are closing for a very long holiday, this will help them make right choices
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