Melihate (Meli) Qena

Pristina | Date: October 30, 2017 | Duration: 41 minutes

The evening stage at that time… Begolli prepared the Jom Talent se jo Mahi [No Joke, I am a Talent], which constantly dealt with, with the problems of the society, and talked about our daily life in a sort of cynical way. [The show] had an extraordinarily  big audience. In the Puppet Theatre, we tried to organize everything that was lacking in school life, concerts, masked balls. We somehow tried to fill the emptiness that existed in schools. So, the theatre at that time wasn’t simply a theatre. It was a garden, entertainment, education and everything else. And I hope I was successful in that job.

However, we didn’t let people be swallowed by the sadness that existed everywhere, in the streets, at home. Here there  was a kind of oasis where they could feel freer, more… see a different world, maybe live a little of that fairytale, that illusion. It was a little bit of freshness for those people.


Aurela Kadriu (Interviewer), Donjetë Berisha (Camera)

Melihate (Meli) Qena was born on December 15, 1949 in Mitrovica. She studied acting at the Academy of Theatre, Film and Television in Belgrade, Serbia. She started working for the Radio Television of Pristina immediately after it was founded and worked there until the ‘90s when it was closed by the Milosevic regime. Alongside her job  the television, in 1986, she started working at the Dodona Puppet Theatre in Pristina, where she debuted as a director with the play Pylli është i të gjithëve [The Mountain belongs to Everyone]. She worked as a theatre director at the Dodona Puppet Theatre until her retirement. In 2015, she was awarded the prize for Lifetime Achievements by the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports. Qena played in many theatre plays and films, among which are the movie Martesa [The Marriage], Kësulat [The Headgears] and A dream. Currently, she works as a resident actress at the Dodona Theatre.