The Harvard Foundation has awarded a $750 grant to freshman planning to stage an unusual African social satire.
The play, about a prophet in African is unusual for African literature because it is a comedy written in English. Mainawa Mwangi '87, director of The Trials Brother Gero said yesterday.
He added that American misconceptions of Africa spurred him to put on the piece.
"It is a way of showing people that Africans have minds and thoughts of their own and can laugh at themselves," Mwangi said.
Mwangi, who came to Harvard from Kenya, said that he was surprised to find misconceptions about Africa among Harvard students. He said he encounters Blacks who ask him where Kenya is.
Educating the Harvard community in order to improve race relations is a major goal of the Harvard Foundation, a spokesman said yesterday.
The Foundation also gave grants to 21 other student projects to promote cultural awareness. The Faculty Advisory Committee of the Foundation, chaired by Rev. Peter J. Gomes approved the grants on February 14.
Mwangi, a native of Kenya, went to school in Nairobi for eleven years. He spent his last two years studying at the International School in Singapore, where he became interested in drams.
The play is sponsored by the Mather Drama Society and will run from April 18-21. The Society will cover any costs beyond the grant, Mwangi said.