In the 1960s, with the space race in full swing, the heated quest for interplanetary exploration between the Earth’s superpowers gained a new, self-proclaimed contender.


Edward Mukuka, a Zambian school teacher, declared himself the country’s ‘Minister of Space’ and founded the Zambia National Academy of Science, Space research and Astronomical Research space academy in an abandoned farmhouse outside of Lusaka.


During the height of the ‘space race’, Edward trained the first African crew to travel to the moon. His plan was to use an aluminium rocket, and send a girl, two cats and a missionary into space. The Zambian space mission would first aim for the moon.


You are officially invited to JOIN THE MISSION as Wake The Beast, Circus Zambia and Barefeet Theatre combine forces for an out of this world theatrical exploration.


Based on true events, this is a moving tale of hope and audacity against all odds.


For a taste of what the show is about, check out this video.

Production Credits

Afronauts is presented by Circus Zambia, Barefeet and Wake the Beast in partnership with the Irish Embassy Lusaka.


Written and directed by Gift Chansa and Adam Mcguigan


Arthur Chileshe, Bergus Siatobotu, Ephraim Phiri, Blinda Kaputula, Martha Mwamba, Tapiwa Chaila, and Stanly Peter Kundelungu. 

About the Artists

Adam Mcguigan - Director, Writer , Producer

Adam Mcguigan is an Artistic Director at Wake The Beast performance company which creates contemporary theatrical events and experiencesthat are playful, political and important. He is Associate Artist at Theatre Témoin, Human Features Productions and co-founded Barefeet Theatre in Zambia. He has worked extensively in the UK and internationally through touring and for 8 years as part of Contacting The World international Theatre Festival (Contact Manchester). His work as a writer, director and produceris focused on elevating unheard voices and untold stories. His impulse for projects always comes from the incredible stories we all hold.


Most work will start with interviewing people connected to the subject matter and going on a creative journey together. Whetherthat's people undergoing cancer treatment at the Whittington Hospital, NHS/ Social Care workers or children living on the streetsin Zambia. Recent work has rarely happened in a theatre. Over the past few years projects have been presented in hospitals, town centres, parks, beaches, music clubs and even in the UK Houses of Parliament.


His training is in physical theatre (Hope St Ltd) but the 10 years he worked as
Artistic Director of Barefeet Theatre in Zambia have impacted the work he does through the vibrancy of choral work, musical performance and spectacle. Despite recent work tackling difficult subject matters he is less interested in projects which don't provoke laughter. Life can be tough, and he wants his work to leave an impact... but also to invite joy and fun. 


Gift Chansa - Director, Writer, producer

Gift Chansa is a visionary leader, renowned as the Founder and Artistic Director of Circus Zambia. His journey in the world of arts and education has taken him across continents, and his dedication to both his craft and philanthropic endeavours are nothing short of inspiring! In 2018, he was recognised by her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 2nd for his philanthropic work.


Gift's educational background is as diverse as his experiences. He earned his Circus and Drama Diploma at Fontysin Holland, honing his artistic talents. Further expanding his horizons, he pursued additional studies in Wuqiao, China, where he earned a diploma, enriching his understanding of the global circus arts landscape. He also holds a Diploma in Project Management from the National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA) in Lusaka, Zambia. Currently, Gift is pursuing a BA in Political Science with a minor in Drama at the University of Zambia, and is set to graduate in 2024.


His passion is in using Circus pedagogy to transform communities, and he has conducted workshops and tours in more than 13 countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Netherlands. His mission is to foster connections among people, transcending borders, and cultures. Gift Chansa is dedicated to using Circus Zambia as a platform to address critical issues. He passionately advocates for mental health awareness, tackles climate change, and offers hope to disadvantaged youth in Lusaka, Zambia.


  • Venue: Guy Butler Theatre
  • Location: Monument Building
  • Ticket price: R80.00
  • Programme type: Curated Programme
  • Genre: Circus
  • Duration: 75 minutes
  • Ages: ALL AGES
Guy Butler Theatre
June 25, 2024 14:00 - 15:15
Guy Butler Theatre
June 26, 2024 14:00 - 15:15
Guy Butler Theatre
June 26, 2024 19:00 - 20:15
Guy Butler Theatre
June 27, 2024 14:00 - 15:15