Archive for the ‘BLACK THEATRE’ Category

YORUBA!-SAVE YORUBA LANGUAGE BY USING IT EVERYWHERE YOU CAN,WRITING IT,READING IT,SPEAKING IT TO YOUR CHILDREN ONLY AT HOME,AND HAVING “BEST YORUBA SPEAKING CONTESTS” AT EVERY EVENT YOU CAN(IGBEYAWO,IPADE ATI GBOGBE!)-FEMI OSOFISAN HAS TRANSLATED THIS PLAY INTO YORUBA FOR GOMINA FASOLA, TUNDE KELANI ATI GBOGBO WON OMO YORUBA!

October 19, 2010

FROM thenationonlineng.net

Old play, new language
Edozie Udeze 17/10/2010 00:00:00

Who is Afraid of Solarin? a play by Professor Femi Osofisan, has always been a symbolic one. It is so because it is a comic treatise on what makes Nigeria and Nigerians unique. In the play, Osofisan uses plenty of comic scenes and statements to portray the story of a society where things work upside down. The name Solarin is used symbolically because of his role in trying to give a better direction to Nigerians and to the Nigerian state. The play chronicles Nigeria’s many socio-political problems in such a way that the audience are made to feel the impact while the play is on stage. You can’t help but laugh and hiss and then wonder the sort of society Nigeria is and why the people are what they are.

This was why it was selected as the independence play this year by the trio of Mufu Onifade, Tunde Kelani and the Lagos State government. However, the play which was translated into the Yoruba language by Dotun Ogundeji as Yeepa! Solaarin Nbo!!, is meant to send home the message to the larger Yoruba theatre audience.

In this new experiment, the message is supposed to sink deeper, so that people who love to see the lighter side of Nigerian myriad of problems dramatized on stage, would have a better view of it. The few days the play was on stage in Lagos last week proved that a lot of people were really eager to laugh away the problems of the society. Not only that the artistes led by Ropo Ewenla were on top of their game on stage, the large turnout of theatre lovers showed that the choice of the play was apt and appropriate.

To make the play appeal more to the audience, the producers introduced an opening glee. This marriage of convenience between opening glee and full-length drama presentation was Mainframe and National Association of Nigerian Theatre Arts Practitioners (NANTAP) Lagos chapter’s synergetic way of joining the Lagos State government in celebrating the 50th independence anniversary of Nigeria. This way, there was no moment of boredom. The artistes were able to appeal to the audience to wake up to the realities of the moment; to make Nigeria great.

Is this Nigeria of our dreams in 1960? That seemed to be the question raised on stage by the actors. Ewenla, the lead character was able to convince the audience that we need to do more; we need to work harder and be more honest to make Nigeria a better place for all and sundry.
Yeepa! Is an exclamation that something hilarious or ominous is about to happen and that people should sit up to welcome it. This situation calls for an acclaim, calling the Nigerian people that there are more than meet the eye. Solarin was an enigma of some sort when he was alive. Although the name is hyperbolic in a way, it goes to portray a visionary leader who saw long before now what the Nigerian society portended. Now the play in his name says it all.

Anywhere this play goes on stage, the euphoric appeal it gives leaves much to be desired. The Yoruba version of it also did much more; the message seeped deeper into the fabric of the audience whose laughter and hisses tore deep into the night. And so, it is kudos to Onifade for his sense of humour and wisdom. The play truly helped to embellish the mood of the moment and bring Nigerians back to that moment of reflection.

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Your name: Your e-mail address: Your website: Add your comments: YORUBA LANGUAGE IS DYING ALONG WITH OTHER NIGERIAN/AFRICAN LANGUAGES SO WE MUST DO AS MUCH OF THIS AS POSSIBLE-USE THE MOTHER TONGUE FOR ALL PLAYS,EVENTS,PUBLICATIONS THAT YOU CAN AND SAVE AFRICAN LANGUAGES! TAKE CARE OF YOUR MOTHER TONGUE LIKE OTHER SELF-RESPECTING PEOPLE IN THE WORLD DO-IT IS YOUR FIRST LANGUAGE, NOT YOUR SECOND AND GOD GAVE IT TO YOU SO CHERISH IT,SPEAK IT ONLY IN YOUR HOME TO YOUR CHILDREN AND LET OUR MOTHER TONGUE LIVE!

IREKE ONIBUDO BY D.O. FAGUNWA HITS THE STAGE BOTH IN YORUBA LANGUAGE AND ENGLISH THANKS TO CHAMS,NIGERIA!-FROM NIGERIAN COMPASS NEWSPAPER

December 2, 2009

IREKE ONIBUDO-A NOVEL FOR THE GREATEST YORUBA NOVELIST D.O. FAGUNWA,PERFORMED AS A PLAY IN YORUBA LANGUAGE AND ENGLISH BY CHAMS PLC NIGERIA,NOV. 2009IREKE ONIBUDO-A NOVEL FOR THE GREATEST YORUBA NOVELIST D.O. FAGUNWA,PERFORMED AS A PLAY IN YORUBA LANGUAGE AND ENGLISH BY CHAMS PLC NIGERIA,NOV. 2009

IREKE ONIBUDO-FAGUNWA'S GREAT YORUBA NOVEL ON STAGE,COMPLIMENTS OF CHAMS NIGERIA!

IREKE ONIBUDO-FAGUNWA'S GREAT YORUBA NOVEL ON STAGE TO CHAMS,NIGERIA!

FROM compassnews.net

Wednesday, Dec 02nd
Last update:11:29:27 PM GMT

‘Fabulous Adventures…’ of Nigeria’s theatre Monday, 23 November 2009 00:00 Nigerian Compass
Veteran art critic, PITA OKUTE who watched the recent presentation of The Fabulous Adventures of a Sugarcane Man, Femi Osofisan’s English language stage adaptation of D. O. Fagunwa’s Yoruba novel

Ireke Onibudo, at the National Arts Theatre appraises the production against the background of the development of the stage performing art in Nigeria.

AT the end, a critic complained that the play was too long. I agreed. Three hours or so of dance and drama may be quite hard on the backsides. But having observed that “nowadays all the money goes to musical jamborees and comedy shows rather than serious or cerebral activities,” one suspects that the translator-playwright, Femi Osofisan, sought to compensate: To enlighten and entertain at once. Ergo – the song and dance routines that trailed the tale at every turn. Perhaps, there was just a chorus or two too many, but the overall effect was somewhat cheery.

Clearly, the greater challenge of his spirited dramatic interpretation lay in deconstructing the epic narrative of Ireke Onibudo from the infinite canvas of the novel to the less extensive stage of the National Art Theater’s Cinema Hall II. Such spatial limitations do not matter to Osofisan, whose enduring style is to extend the stage far beyond its allotted boundary into the audience. Complain, if you will, about the relevance of all that ‘movement.’ The artistic director, Tunde Awosanmi has bought into this peculiar trademark and in The Fabulous Adventures of a Sugarcane Man, he and the playwright create resonating chords for a moral tale birthed on mental, physical, moral and spiritual trials. In this regard, the wanderings of Oba Ireke (Kunle Agboola) and the reporter Beyioku (Olugbemi Adekambi) amidst the audience denote the hero’s strange but enthralling odyssey from pauper to oba – the king.

By will power, moral restraint and sheer good fortune, Ireke triumphs over adversity to become a celebrated warlord and noble man. His story runs alongside a fable told by his dead mother: the heinous murder of the Tiger’s children by the sly, wicked Fox. With an animal cast to embellish the narrative, the stage is set for spectacles of engaging folk theatre. Colourful and confusing in turns, the performance is overdone sometimes by tedious dialogue and spurious acting. The narrators, a blend of characters and voices add to the overall dullness. Osofisan’s commendable effort is overshadowed by pervading myopia. One is hard put to understand why his gargantuan translation of Fagunwa’s novel stopped merely at this leaving the entire song and dance sketches of the play to be rendered in vernacular. Thus, the strong and unpalatable suggestion that there is a river of interpretation he was too scared or ill equipped to cross. In the end, non-Yoruba speaking audiences may either feel greatly enriched by word plays they hardly understand or grossly cheated of their deserved enjoyment.
Nonetheless, the varying abilities of Tunde Oshinaike (Young Ireke), Charles Ihumiodu (Oba Alupayida), Kunle Agboola and Omotara Soretire (Ifepade) combine to pull the play through. Oshinaike exhibits great presence of mind throughout and is the live-wire of this engaging theatrical package.

Still, The Fabulous Adventures of a Sugarcane Man mirrors at large the curious trajectory of Nigerian theatre in the last four decades: From the eventful era of Hubert Ogunde, Moses Olaiya Adejumo, Duro Ladipo and many others to those far off days when theatre groups from the universities toured the country with incisive productions for the masses and corporate interventions such as Ajo Productions held up the flag of Nigerian drama in the turbulent socio-political winds.

Thereafter, the sly, wicked fox of ill-conceived government policies like Structural Adjustment Programme devoured the growing spirit of a blossoming Nigerian theatre. The craft endured a wilderness of dwindled public support, severe competition from local and foreign television and the local home video industry among other alternative media.

It would be stretching the parallels a bit to suggest that the monster has finally been slain and that theatre has finally come into its own as a result. Yet, one can not fail to observe a growing love affair between Corporate Nigeria and the Nigerian stage. The Chams Theatre Series a yearly “feast of theatre” hosted by Chams Plc, a computer hardware and maintenance services company, exemplifies this happy trend. The series kicked off in 2008 with the production of D. O. Fagunwa’s Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo and theatre lovers around the country are mightily thrilled that Chams is helping to keep their beloved craft alive and well.

The Series has lived up to a promise of enlivening the pleasure of the people and enlarging the pockets of practitioners. To paraphrase Osofisan, Chams employs over a hundred theatre artistes for about three months every year and offers free, to live audiences, a vivid experience of theatre that the people yearn for but which is so hard to come by these days. Here, one might add, is corporate social responsibility at its eclectic best.

The event at the National Theatre ended with a dance drill which was topped by a significant question from the cast. Chams ye da? (Where is your Chams?), they chanted and the management of the visionary Nigerian company went on stage to take a deserved bow with the happy cast and production crew.

It is easy to imagine that they might also be asking the same important question in Enugu, Port Harcourt, Calabar, Makurdi, Kaduna and other such places, where the people are also yearning for ‘vivid’ theatrical experience. It is even easier to believe that the Chams Theatre Series might also berth in those places soon, if only to prove that the theatre tradition in Nigeria does not begin in Ibadan and end in Abuja after rolling through Lagos, Akure and Ondo.
Kudos still to Chams Plc.
===========================================================================================FROM CHAMS.COM

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kicksofftonational acclaimtheatre series The Chams TheatreSeries kicked offto great public and criticalacclaim acrossNigeria in September 2008 withperformances across four citiesand two adaptations of D.O.Fagunwa’s classic Ogboju OdeNinu Igbo Irunmale.——————————————————————————–

Audiences trooped out in largenumbers for the English and Yorubatheatrical performances of OgbojuOde or The Forest of a ThousandDaemons in Lagos, Ibadan, Abuja andIfe.The enthusiasm, interest andsubsequent appreciation of theperformances underscored the fact ofthe Chams Theatre Series helping to filla gap in the cultural life of Nigeria.According to Mr. DemolaAladekomo, Group Managing Director,“The Chams Theatre Series is a strategicintervention and contribution ofChams plc to the rejuvenation of theArts and stage culture in Nigeria. It isalso a means of promoting our cultureand re-orienting Nigerians to the valuesthat we hold dear. We believe thosevalues should prompt action in oursociety.”The Ogboju Ode performances are“the beginning of what we envisageas a long journey of discovery andsharing”, Aladekomo informed guests.It was a great beginning indeed.Extensive reportage and reviews in themedia confirmed the strong interestpresentation of the plays elicited withlocal and international stakeholders ofthe company.Culture and Tourism ministerMr. Olatokunbo Kayode wrote into offer official Federal Governmentrecognition and support of the effortby Chams plc to provide corporatesupport for the revival of theatreculture in Nigeria.Chams plc sponsored productionof the plays after acquiring the rightsto the works of D.O. Fagunwa

the family of the late author and theD.O. Fagunwa Foundation. Fagunwa’sdaughter was a star guest at the Lagosperformance of the Yoruba adaptationon Sunday, September 14 at theMuson Centre. Other guests includedChief Segun Olusola, Chief Mrs. DerinOsoba, Rev Olu Odejimi, doyen ofthe Nigerian Stock Exchange, Rev OlaMakinde, Prelate of the MethodistChurch Nigeria. There were also Mr.Tayo Aderinokun, MD of GuarantyTrust Bank, Ahmed Yerima, Tani Obaro,MD, SystemSpec, as well as othermajor players in the banking, financialservices and oil and gas sectors.Town met gown in Ibadan as thecivil society joined the academia towatch presentation of the play. Theaudience spilled over and activelyparticipated in the presentation.Diplomats and members of theNational Assembly joined a largenumber of stakeholders in theinformation and communication“The Chams Theatre Seriesis a strategic interventionof Chams Plc to therejuvenation of the arts andstage culture in Nigeria.”cOver stOrycover story6 | futureteNse6 | futureteNseThe presentation of Ogboju Ode Ninu IgboIrunmale is the first in a journey of atleast seven years in the first instance forthe Chams Theatre Series. Chams plc has acquired he rights tothe five works of D.O. Fagunwa. The company plansto present a theatrical adaptation of one work eachyear. Add this to other works by other Nigerianauthors and it is easy to understand what the chiefexecutive Mr. Demola Aladekomo described as “thebeginning of what we envisage as a long journey ofdiscovery and sharing”.Next in line for 2009 is the work Ireke Onibudo.Daniel Olorunfemi Fagunwa was born in 1932 inOkeigbo in present day Ondo State. He was a teacherand writer. He died in 1963 at a relatively young agebut with many accomplishments under his name.According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, OgbojuOde Ninu Igbo Irunmale (Night of a Thousand Daemons,was the first full-length novel published in the Yorubalanguage. His secondnovel, Igbo Olodumare (“The Forest of God”), waspublished in 1949. He also wrote Ireke Onibudo (1949;“The Sugarcane of the Guardian”), Irinkerindo NinuIgbo Elegbeje (1954; “Wanderings in the Forest ofElegbeje”), and Adiitu Olodumare (1961; “The Secretof the Almighty”); a number of short stories; and twotravel books.Fagunwa’s works characteristically take the form ofloosely constructed picaresque fairy tales containingmany folklore elements: spirits, monsters, gods,magic, and witchcraft. His language is vivid: a sadman “hangs his face like a banana leaf,” a liar “hasblood in his belly but spits white saliva.” Every eventpoints to a moral, and he reinforces this moral toneby his use of Christian concepts and of traditionaland invented proverbs.Fagunwa’s imagery, humour, wordplay, and rhetoricreveal an extensive knowledge of classical Yoruba. Hewas also influenced by such Western works as JohnBunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, which were translatedinto Yoruba by missionaries.Some Yorubaintellectuals dislikedFagunwa’s lack of concernwith contemporary socialissues. Other criticspointed to his knowledgeof the Yoruba mind, hiscareful observation of themanners and mannerismsof his characters, and hisskill as a storyteller.Long Journey of Discovery and Sharing

technology world to watch theperformance at the Congress Hall ofthe Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.By the time, it got to the Ile Ife onSeptember 24, enthusiasm and interestwas at fever pitch. Not surprisingly, theeager audience crashed through somedoors to ensure space in the OdoduwaHall of the Obafemi AwolowoUniversity. There was standing roomonly as the hall was brimful.The Chams Theatre Series has therights to the five works of Fagunwaand would sponsor one play eachyear. Aladekomo said the firm hasalso acquired the rights to works bywriters from other parts of Nigeriain order to broaden the appeal aswell as showcase the universality ofpositive values shared by Nigeriancommunities.Professor Femi Osofisan of theUniversity of Ibadan, wrote the“The Chams Theatre Serieshas the rights to five worksof Fagunwa and wouldsponsor one play eachyear.”futureteNse | 7futureteNse | 7D. O. Fagunwa’s Ogboju Ode tells an inter-esting adventure story of the journey ofthe intrepid hunter Akaraogun into thestrange land of Langbodo. His journeytakes him through many weird experi-ences and encounters with spirits, elves, mermaids,witches, monsters and the multifarious dwellers of theforest. He returns to a heroic welcome and takes timeto enthral his fellow citizens with hair-raising ac-counts of his escapades.Akaraogun grows in influence as news of his incred-ible journey spreads. He elicits the envy of the titularhead of the community.The monarch then comes up with a creative schemeto send this potential rival out of sight. He dreams upan assignment to fetch a missing treasure from Lang-bodo. Who better to lead the expedition but the manof valour and courage Akaraogun? Akaraogun enlistssix other brave hunters and then go on an excitingjourney of discovery suffused with dangers and thrills.Play wrights Prof Femi Osofisan and Prof Akinwun-mi Isola present interesting dimensions to the OgbojuOde story that deepened audience appreciation of thestory. Watching each play was like watching a differentbut similar account.Osofisan’s The Forest of a Thousand Daemons is akinto a dance drama with plenty of dances, chants andoriginal songs. He puts an interesting twist to thetale as the hunters accomplish the last of many teststhe good king of the nearest town to Langbodo givesthem. Now reduced to four men after the death oftheir colleagues, the adventurers learn to their surpriseyet relief that Langbodo is not a physical space but astate of being where humans come to a fuller realisa-tion of their essence and learn to live in love and har-mony with other beings.Osofisan’s Akaraogun, the protagonist, is a youngman, full of energy and verve, as are his fellow war-riors.Osofisan and artistic director Dr. Tunde Awosanmi say they sourced the rich repertoire of songs in theplay mainly from Yoruba oral tradition including therepertory of the hunter’s guild. Femi Osofisan, TundeAwosanmi and Tunde Adeyemo provided additionalcompositions.Akaraogun in Prof Isola’s Ogboju Ode is a greyingand bent old man who recounts to a scribe the inter-esting narrative of his travels through the forests ofdemons. Isola uses the flashback technique as the nowaged Akaraogun looks back at the adventures he andhis fellow hunters undertook. They arrive at the physi-cal location Langbodo and bring back to their home-land many goodies from the far away land.Proverbs, oratory and dance are alsostrong in the Yoruba presentation. Rendering in theoriginal language enriches the texture, depth of mean-ing and eloquence.Dif erent Takes on An Interesting TaleProfs Femi Osofisan and Akinwunmi Ishola

English adaptation while ProfessorAkinwumi Isola of the ObafemiAwolowo University wrote the Yorubaadaptation.Speaking on the significanceof the performances, Prof FemiOsofisan, a former General Managerof the National Theatre, asserted, “Byselecting this work, Chams is renderingan immeasurable service to thepreservation of our culture, at a timewhen our country like others in the so-called Third World are faced with themenace of globalisation. Certainly, suchprojects as this will help the processof our cultural rebirth. Fagunwa hasshown us that we have our ownfolklore and fables, our stories and sagacOver stOrycover story8 | futureteNse8 | futureteNseand heroes as authentically rich, andenriching, as any other in the worldrepertory. With him, we can also standup and announce that we are also partof the ancient heritage that first gavemeaning to humanity.”Presentation of the Ogboju Ode plays byChams plc provided direct employmentto 82 theatre practitioners and indirectemployment to many more, thusfulfilling its mission as a corporatesocial investment.This is the testimony of the technicalconsultant to the Chams Theatre Series, Prof FemiOsofisan.Speaking at a press briefing before theformal presentation of the plays, Osofisan,an experienced hand in theatre management,administration and teaching, said the involvementof Chams plc has helped revive morale amongstthespians.Theatre often involves many other aspects ofthe arts, from music through choreography andinto fields such as costuming. Osofisan said thatby sponsoring these major productions, Chams hadprovided employment for the cast and crew overmany months.A 48-person cast and crew featured inThe Forest of a Thousand Daemons while thecast of Ogboju Ode had 36 persons.CSR Mission AccomplishedGuests at the Lobby of the ConGress haLL attransCorp hiLton, venue of the abuja showMr aLadekoMo with aLhaji GboyeGa aruLoGun at the ibadan showMr & Mrs aLadekoMo weLCoMinG the priMate of the MethodistChurCh of niGeria, his eMinenCe, dr sunday oLa Makindethe ChairMan, prof. a.d. akinde with Miss diwura aGunwa,dauGhter of the Late pLaywriGht

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HomeSunday MagazineScreenWhen the stage depicts our loss
When the stage depicts our loss
By VICTOR AKANDEPublished 8/11/2009ScreenRating: Unrated
For as long as we can remember, we have allowed those basic values of art and culture to die; stage play being one of them. Have you ever wondered why as a parent you are struck by nostalgia each time you visit your country home? Have you paused to ask why some of our brothers abroad prefer to speak with us in our native tongue rather than in English? The answer is not farfetched; we value ourselves at a distance. My brother in-law was on yahoo chat with my wife a few days ago and in all the three-paged dialogue, hardly did I see a full sentence in English language. Beyond that, it was obvious he found relish in Yoruba proverbs and idiomatic expressions. Gbenga has lived in South Africa for five years now.

My wife’s boss is another example. Dele, while in Nigeria spoke through his nose; it amazes than amuses my wife that her oga desires so much the feel of being a Nigerian with the spontaneity at which he infused Yoruba language in their phone conversations. You may not understand how far away you are from your culture until you take out time to see a stage play. I did, and it was mind blowing.

Have you heard about the young lady called Nneka Egbuna? She won the MOBO award in the African singers’ category last month. But that is not the story. Nneka, half Nigerian-half German, used to think she was white skin until she left the shores of Nigeria. Today her music is for the emancipation of the black man, not only from colour bar, but of the glorious abundance of life, wisdom, and riches deposited by God on the soil and airspace of the black continent. That young girl is nothing short of a black activist as a victim of colour bar.
But here we are neglecting our heritage out of ignorance, and our leaders out of insensitivity have refused to promote those values that stand us out. We fall at the feet of what is called western civilisation, forgetting that the Elizabethan theatre tradition isn’t dead in Britain, just as the Shakespearean experience is still a classic.
Amidst the oddity, one corporate organisation has identified with the vision of rebranding Nigeria in the real sense by choosing not only to encourage the impoverished stage actors by engaging them for half a year but also enlivening the theatre tradition as a new leisure for children of school age.

This Information and Communication Technology firm, Chams Plc, began what it called The Chams Theatre Series in 2008 with theatrical adaptations of the D.O. Fagunwa book, Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Irunmale. This year, perhaps like never before, it is the story of this extraordinary adventure of the Sugarcane Man called Ireke Onibudo by the same author. It gladdens my heart to know that Chams is sponsoring this unique experience as a strategic intervention and contribution to the rejuvenation of the Arts and stage culture in Nigeria. It is thoughtful that it sees Corporate Social Responsibility initiative as also a means of promoting our culture and re-orientating Nigerians to the values that we hold dear.

The taste of the pudding is in the eating. As I savour the expertise of Prof Femi Osofisan in bringing this complex plot to stage and the exquisite delivery of the cast, I glance across my shoulder to acknowledge if my Igbo friend was in the same reverie with me. He looked more excited. I told him what he was missing in the area of the music lyrics. But he said to me that the rhythm was complimentary enough to the story. Only then did I know that even I had undermined the power of drama as a universal language. Ben, that’s his name, said that stage play is to him the best form of entertainment; he praised the Yoruba culture to high heavens.

The beauty of the road show for Ireke Onibudo which started yesterday is that although it will be presented in Yoruba and English languages, there will be two different stories entirely from a single theme, as Prof Femi Osofisan and Prof. Akinwunmi Isola, playwright the English and Yoruba languages adaptation respectively; it is only imaginable that interpretation, style, comic relief, suspense, folk song, costume, choreography, and other dramatic elements will make for separate savouring.

The company is extending the number of shows from seven, which it had last year, to eleven this year in response to popular demand. Perhaps this is one of the reasons that the sponsors will also be taking the Chams Theatre Series to schools,s allowing for students from selected schools in four cities to join adults to experience the thrill of live theatre from the D.O. Fagunwa’s collection.

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from 234next.com
Large turnout for Fagunwa play

By Akintayo Abodunrin

November 14, 2009 08:43PMT
print email

‘The Fabulous Adventures of a Sugarcane Man’ and ‘Agbara Ife’, being the English and Yoruba adaptations of D.O. Fagunwa’s ‘Ireke Onibudo’ by Femi Osofisan and Akinwumi Isola respectively, premiered last weekend in Lagos.

The plays opened to a packed house at Cinema Hall I, National Theatre, Iganmu, on Saturday, November 7 and Sunday, November 8. Eminent Nigerians including former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Joseph Sanusi and his wife, Doyin Ogunbiyi of Tanus Communication, poet Odia Ofeimun, chair of the Fagunwa Foundation, Diwura Fagunwa, artistic director of the National Troupe, Ahmed Yerima, chairman, board of directors, Chams plc, Reverend Bayo Akinde, Lagos State commissioner for tourism, Tokunbo Afikuyomi and other lovers of stage drama were among those who saw the play. Children drawn from schools across Lagos also saw the English adaptation on Monday, November 9 at the same venue.

The Reverend Olu Odejimi, co anchor at the opening with Dayo Olajuwon on Saturday started on a light mode with, “Say to your neighbour good afternoon and how do you do?’ Though ‘The Fabulous Adventures of a Sugarcane Man’ started almost an hour late, people patiently waited while formalities including introduction of guests and the Chams family song rendered by uniformly attired staff of the ICT company were observed.

While Isola and Kola Oyewo who directed his adaptation were at the premieres, only Tunde Awosanmi, director of the English version was present. Isola informed that Osofisan was away on sabbatical outside the country.

One source, different plays

And as Isola, author of ‘Ole Ku’, ‘Efunsetan Aniwura and other plays disclosed earlier at the press preview of the play some weeks ago, though the adaptations are from the same source material – Fagunwa’s Ireke Onibudo written in 1949, the edu-taining plays indeed differ in their treatment of love, the central theme of the original novel.

Similarly, some popular Nollywood actors in the Yoruba genre who feature in ‘Agbara Ife’ gave a good account of themselves. Peter Fatomilola, Toyosi Arigbabuwo, Samson Eluwole (Jinadu Ewele) and Kayode Olaiya (Aderupoko) who started their careers on the stage showed that their skills have not deserted them. Others including Gbolagade Akinpelu (Ogun Majek), John Adewole (Tafa Oloyede) and Jolaade Adejobi (Mama Wande) also distinguished themselves.

In a short speech at the end of ‘Agbara Ife’ on Sunday, Demola Aladekomo, Managing Director of Chams Plc, thanked the audience and stressed the importance of love. He also specially acknowledged the team responsible for the second edition of the theatre series including Fiyinfolu Okedare, Ayodeji Akindele, Isioma Eboka, Bisola Oladipo and Dayo Olajuwon.

The Chams Theatre Series debuted last year with Yoruba and English adaptations of Fagunwa’s ‘Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Irunmole’ by Osofisan and Isola. It is, according to Aladekomo, “a strategic intervention and contribution to the rejuvenation of the arts and stage culture in Nigeria. It is also a means of promoting our culture and re-orientating Nigerians to the values that we hold dear.”

‘Agbara Ife’ showed in Ibadan, Oyo State yesterday while ‘The Fabulous Adventures of a Sugarcane Man’ will show in the city today and tomorrow. Both plays will also be staged in Abuja and Akure before the series ends on November 30.
)

Posted by seyi on Nov 21 2009

pls when is it gonna be stage in Abuja,time days and venue would be most appreciated.

Posted by Fatai on Nov 28 2009

Thank you Chams Plc.

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from tribune.com.ng

Chams set Lagos, Ibadan aglow with Ireke Onibudo
By Adewale Oshodi – Updated: Tuesday 17-11-2009

A scene in the play IN the first two weekends in the month of November, Lagos and Ibadan theatre lovers were treated to live stage performances, Ireke Onibudo, sponsored by IT giant, Chams Plc. Adewale Oshodi reports how the performances in both cities went, and what lovers of theatre in Abuja and Akure should expect when, the performance train moves to their cities.

For the second year running, Information Technology (IT) firm, Chams Nigeria Plc, through its Chams Theatre Series (CTS) subsidiary, has demonstrated its commitment to the revival of the arts and stage culture in the country.

It all began last year, when Chams sponsored the adaptation of Daniel Olorunfemi Fagunwa’s work, Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Irunmale, in both English and Yoruba for stage performances in four cities across the country.

This year, another of Fagunwa’s works, Ireke Onibudo, which theatre lovers in Lagos and Ibadan had already enjoyed, will be staged in Abuja between Saturday 21 and Sunday 22, November, 2009 while the train will move to Akure between Saturday 23 and Monday 30, November, 2009.

Apart from the fact that both English and Yoruba adaptations of Ireke Onibudo are being staged free of charge for theatre lovers in these cities, students also have a special session to enjoy the play.

Already, those who have watched the play in Lagos and Ibadan can testify to the brilliance of the playwrights, who adapted the book Professor Femi Osofisan, for the English adaptation and Professor Akinwumi Isola, for the Yoruba adaptation as well as the Artistic Directors Dr. Tunde Awosanmi, for the English adaptation and Dr. Kola Oyewo, for the Yoruba adaption.

The play, Ireke Onibudo, based on Fagunwa’s 1942 book of same title, was about the adventures of an eponymous hero, Ireke Onibudo, before he finally found his true love who helped him to overcome all his troubles. The play placed emphasis on the capabilities of man in the struggle for survival.

Both adaptations gave prominence to the interplay of humour, as well the presence of all dramatic ingredients which Fagunwa injected into the writing of the play, like fables, folktales, poetry, perseverance, love etc.

The cast of both adaptations were made from seasoned theatre professionals who proved their mettle by rendering a near-perfect performance. For the English adaptation, artistes like Toyin Oshinaike, Albert Akaeze, Kunle Agboola, Charles Ihimodu, among others, and the Yoruba adaptation, artistes like Peter Fatomilola, Gbolagade Akinpelu, Samson Eluwole, Toyosi Arigbabuowo, Kayode Olaiya, among others, gave a performance that could only be described as excellent.

The fact that the translators, Professors Osofisan and Isola, as well as the artistic directors, Dr. Awosanmi and Dr. Oyewo, are among the best that could be found anywhere in the world, really had a great impact on the performances.

The play treated the audience to a series of Yoruba folklore songs, which as a result of the changing world, are no longer popular. The audience was also reminded about the beautiful Ekun Iyawo, literally bridal chant or wailing, rendered by the bride on the eve of her marriage, which is one of the final rites of marriage ceremonies in traditional Yoruba society.

The costumes used really depicted the situation in which the artistes were at a particular point in time; like Ireke’s torn agbada after being severely beaten in the town of Alupayida; or Ireke’s mother’s costume, an all white net that covered her entire head to toe, to depict a ghost when she appeared to Ireke under the sea; or even the Arogidigba (Queen of the Coast) and her lieutenants who had a silky, beautiful and shimering attire to complement the popular belief that the queen of the underwater is a stunning beauty.

The sound effects were creatively employed to intensify the reality of the setting. The effects brought life to the performance. Sounds of birds chirpings in the forest, or sounds of the underwater, as well as its usage to create an atmosphere of fear, was simply excellent.

The lights were used as transistional guide to seamlessly link the scenes. Therefore, Abuja and Akure residents can expect to also enjoy what Lagos and Ibadan theatre lovers had enjoyed by storming the Cyprian Ekwensi Centre for Arts and Culture, Abuja and Adegbemila Hall, Akure, when the performance train gets to their cities.

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FROM

EYO FESTIVAL HOLDS IN LAGOS,NIGERIA WITH AN ORGANIZED DIFFERENCE BY GOV. FASOLA!-GUARDIAN NEWSPAPER,APRIL 28,2009(WITH THE FIRST 7 PHOTOS BY EHIS ERO!)

April 28, 2009

CELEBRATING IN THE COMMUNITY OF EKO ISLAND!

CELEBRATING IN THE COMMUNITY OF EKO ISLAND!

BY ERIS ERO

BY ERIS ERO

BY EHIS ERO

BY EHIS ERO

GOVERNOR BABATUNDE FASOLA,LAGOS STATE WHO MADE IT ALL POSSIBLE! HE IS LEADING IN PRESERVING THE YORUBA CULTURE WHICH IS DYING!

GOVERNOR BABATUNDE FASOLA,LAGOS STATE WHO MADE IT ALL POSSIBLE! HE IS LEADING IN PRESERVING THE YORUBA CULTURE WHICH IS DYING!

BY EHIS ERO

BY EHIS ERO

BY EHIS ERO

BY EHIS ERO

BY BROTHER EHIS ERO

BY BROTHER EHIS ERO

by Brother Ehis Ero

by Brother Ehis Ero

eyo-festival6eyo-festival5eyomasquradeeyo-festivaleyo-festival3eyo-festival2eyo-festival4from ngrguardiannews.com

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Splendour, as Lagos throbs to Eyo Carnival
By Nnamdi Inyama and Seye Olumide

LONG before the day, Lagos and even beyond, had been abuzz about the Orisa play also known as Eyo Festival.

There had been comments that this year’s edition, organized in honour of the late Chief T. O. S. Benson, a prominent Lagosian and the nation’s first Minister of Information, would be special, and indeed, it was.

All roads on Saturday led to the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) in Central Lagos, which was the venue of a spectacular display of colour, dance, culture and tradition by various Eyo groups at an event during which the state, Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) declared that “the best of Lagos was yet to come.”

Those living in the Lagos Mainland and outskirts , at one point on Saturday, began to wonder where everybody else had gone to, why there were so few commercial transport vehicles on the road and why the ones available charged such high fares.

The answer was simple: many people from all nooks and crannies of the state were heading to TBS to watch Eyo masquerades perform in a music and dance drama special to Lagosians.

Every available seat, by 9.00a.m., had been taken up at the TBS main bowl by gaily-dressed Lagosians from all walks of life, who had come to witness the Orisa play.

There were diplomats, who for a while, dropped the starchy formalities of their official duties, captains of industry and commerce , foreign tourists, young men and women as well as children, who arrived in very large numbers in the uniquely designed double-decker tourist buses called Eko Oni Baje.

The event began proper after the coordinated march of the various groups belonging to prominent families in Lagos and the adherents of five deities.

An obviously delighted Governor Fashola, who spoke after the march, said the Eyo Festival celebration was aimed at creating a family day for a very rich and proud festival and rich heritage of Lagos as well as develop opportunities to place it in its rightful position as an event deserving of international recognition and acceptance.

This year’s Orisa play, he said, had promoted entrepreneurship through the various fabrics and hats that had been designed as well as the food and drinks provided.

Describing the event as ” twelve hours of funfair and a whole family day,” Fashola said it has also “shown the true colours of Lagos in terms of its dressing and culture as well as the fact that it is the ancestral home of festival and theatre.

Fashola added that the “Eyo masquerade is one of the richest and proudest statements of the colour, flamboyance and elegance of Lagos which must not die.”

The governor explained that the objective of the innovation of a central viewing place was to provide for larger audience and greater number of viewers within a relaxed, safe and entertaining atmosphere without distracting from the delicate intricacies of the craft or elegance of the culture.

According to the governor, ” in this way, families will get involved in what is usually a day of fun and splendor, and the children will connect with their heritage while the guests will understand the indigenes better”.

Reiterating his ultimate vision for the festival, Fashola declared: “With pride tempered with humility, I have come to appreciate the festival and the need for it to be uplifted for the benefit of the state and as an addition to the world map as an international tourist destination”.

He also said the uniqueness of the Eyo festival stems from the fact that it cannot be run by express calendar, saying: “Sometimes we have had five festivals in one year and there are times we have not had any in a number of years. But I think the most important thing is to let the people see what it portends”.

The governor said the Eyo festival was ” a festival of honour to celebrate great men, Lagosians, Obas of Lagos as part of their coronation rights and other Lagosians who have rendered sterling services and deserved to be honoured.”

He declared that he felt good about the occasion and that Tafawa Balewa Square has come to stay as venue for the carnival.

The Eyo festival featured processions of colourfully dressed Eyo groups in their distinctive hats, robes and wrapper with the staff called opabatam.

The groups danced and chanted various songs while greeting people by touching them with the tip of the staff.

Among the Eyo groups that featured in the processions were Asogbon, Suenu, Bashua, Erelu Kuti, Egbe, Shaasi, Asajon, Eletu Odibo, Aromire, Obanikoro, Oshodi- Bukku, Onisiwo, Bajulaiye, Oloto, Onilado, Akogun Olofin, Olorogun Adodo and Onimole

Others were Bajulu, Olumegbon, Eletu Iwashe, Akitoye, Arobadade, Ogunmade, Onikoyi, Jakande, Etti, Oshodi, Ajiwe Forisha, Onisiwo, Salawe, Faji, Kakawa, Sogunro, Taiwo Olowo and Bajulaiye while the five traditional Eyo deity groups are Eyo Agere, Eyo Ologede, Eyo Oniko, Eyo Alakete Pupa and Eyo Adamu Orisha.

Prominent among those present at the occasion were the Deputy Governor, Sarah Adebisi Sosan, wife of the governor , Mrs. Abimbola Fashola , former Ogun State governor, Olusegun Osoba, Speaker of State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, Ambassador Dehinde Fernandez, foreign diplomats and members of the State Executive Council as well as members of the State House of Assembly among others.
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FROM thisdayonline.com

Fashola: Why we revived Eyo Festival
By Nseobong Okon-Ekong, 04.26.2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, yesterday described the ‘Adamu Orisa’ Festival, better known as Eyo festival as “one of the richest and proudest statements of colour, flamboyance and elegance of Lagos which must not die.”

Advancing the tourism potential of the Eyo festival, Fashola said his government appreciates the festival and the need for its upliftment for the benefit of the state and as an addition to the world map as an international tourist destination. He expressed fears that unless the festival is re-invigorated, the present generation would not understand its precepts and essence which may be lost in history and distortion.

Justifying the decision to stage the grand parade of the Eyo at the Tafawa Balewa Square instead of Idumota, he said the decision to relocate the festival was reached in consultation with the Oba of Lagos and some elders.

Fashola, who said the “best of Lagos is yet to come” was moved by the spectacle of the play. It was the second time in two weeks that the state made an impressive showing on the national culture and tourism centrestage. The Eyo play 2009 was in memory of the late Otunba Theophilus Owolabi Shobowale (TOS) Benson, an illustrious indigene of the state and Nigeria’s first Minister of Information who passed on last year. Otunba Benson was the ‘Baba Oba’ (Father of the King) of Lagos.

Penultimate weekend, Lagos’ tourism dream was kept alive when it hosted its first ever Beach Carnival at the Tarkwa Bay Beach.

The Eyo festival which was moved outside its traditional home on the streets of Lagos Island to an enclosed venue-the Tafawa Balewa Square-for the first time attracted the cream of Lagos state government officials, the Oba Rilwan Akiolu of Lagos and his chiefs, foreign tourists and the teeming populace was supported by Glo, the telecommunications company, as main sponsor.

By doing this, according to the governor, the “intention was to provide larger viewership within a relaxed, safe and entertaining atmosphere without distracting from the delicate intricacies of the craft or elegance of the culture.”

Fashola said he, Oba Akiolu, noted in his message that each time the Eyo festival is staged, it usually ushers in good tidings. He said, “it is my prayer that this edition will bring peace and prosperity to Nigeria.

This particular edition has exposed the Adamu Orisa play to international stage in the mould of Rio Carnival and the Argungu Fishing Festival in Northern Nigeria. It is my hope that the next edition will be more glamorous and fun filled.”

Giving another reason for relocation of the festival to Tafawa Balewa Square, Oba Akiolu said it was intended to “reduce to the barest minimum, the illegal and criminal acts of some people which are not part of the Eyo tradition.”

The last Eyo festival, according to Chief Taoridi Ibikunle, the Akinshiku of Lagos and head of all Eyos, was staged six years ago, in August, 2003 in honour of the Late Oba Adeyinka Oyekan II.

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FROM ngrguardiannews.com

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Fashola at Eyo Festival, pledges to uplift Lagos culture and tourism
By Andrew Iro Okungbowa

LAGOS Island, the commercial nerve centre of Lagos State, yesterday wore a colourful outlook, as it played host to the Eyo Festival, in celebration of an age-long cultural heritage of the people of Isale-Eko in Lagos Island.

The Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), venue of the cultural and communal fest, was all adorned in colours with people filing into the massive ground as early as 6am to witness the re-enactment of one of the richest and rarest cultural displays, which turned out to be a massive carnival of sort, with the whole of Lagos Island taken over by huge human and vehicular traffic.

At the festival was the Lagos State governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, who was also dressed like one of the Eyo Masquerades in an all-white outfit and spotted brown coloured lace tied round his shoulder but without the mask. He was ushered into the festival ground along with some of his commissioners and state functionaries who were also dressed in the same manner amidst shout of joy and excitement by the people.

In his goodwill message at the occasion, the governor took his audience down memory lane, saying: “I recall with nostalgic pride that as children, we looked forward to Eyo festival days when Asoje (incantations) were memorised and silently recited by Eyo Masquerades.” He described the festival as a showpiece of the richness and flamboyance of the state and something that must not be allowed to die.

“The Eyo Masquerade is one of the richest and proudest statements of the colour, flamboyance and elegance of Lagos, which must not die,” said the governor. He added that the desire by the state government to celebrate the festival at the TBS rather than Idumota, the traditional venue of the festival, was informed by the need to renew and bring back the colourful, entertaining and rich cultural heritage of the people.

Fashola said the intention of the state government is to uplift the festival to become a tourist attraction for the public to enjoy. “Our intention is to provide for larger viewership within a relaxed, safe and entertaining atmosphere without distancing from the delicate intricacies of the craft or elegance of the culture.”

For the governor, “this way, our families will get involved in what is usually a day for fun and splendour; our children will connect with their heritage and our guests will understand us better.”

He enjoined the people to embrace the culture of the country, stressing that culture is dynamic and that Eyo festival has already adapted itself to modern trend, which is something for everyone to take part in.

The festival is traditionally held in honour of a departed Oba of Lagos or the ascension to the throne of a new Oba and as well as in honour of a departed illustrious son of Lagos. This time, the festival was staged in honour of the late Chief Theophilus Owolabi Shobowale (TOS) Benson, who died last year.

In his remark at the festival, the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Babatunde Aremu Akiolu 1, expressed the hope that the celebration of Adamu Orisa would bring peace and prosperity to the country. He also prayed for the people of the country and the leaders, just as he expressed the hope that the festival would rise to the position of a tourist event for the state and enjoy the status that tourism festivals such as Argungu Fishing and Osun-Osogbo enjoy in the country and the international community.

In attendance at the event were a number of the state government functionaries, chiefs from the state, family members of TOS Benson. Others include the former governor of the state, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, the former deputy governor of the state, Senator Kofo Bucknor-Akerele, the former governor of Ogun State, Segun Osoba and Donald Duke of Cross River State.

For the people who thronged to the venue from all parts of the state and even from other states, with a couple of international visitors sighted at the ground, it was an occasion to celebrate and enjoy the feel of the festival as people followed the long procession of the Eyo masquerades, danced and sang in an atmosphere of conviviality.

The Fuji exponent, Wasiu Ayinde, Kwame I, who was the musical artist of the festival, added colour and entertainment to the festival with his rave performance. Another popular music icon, D’ Banj, also put up a scintillating appearance.

The festival also afforded vendors of different items to make brisk business while it lasted.

© 2003 – 2009 @ Guardian Newspapers Limited (All Rights Reserved).
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from sunnewsonline.com

Sunday, April 26, 2009
Large turnout at 2009 Eyo Festival
Saturday, April 25, 2009

Lagos witnessed a large turnout at the 2009 edition of Eyo Festival, the annual masquerade festival of the state, held yesterday at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) on Lagos Island.
At different bus stops, there were long queues of persons eagerly waiting for the free buses released by the state government to convey people to the TBS.

The roads leading to Lagos Island was free of traffic, due to the fact that commercial vehicles had been barred from plying the route on that day.

Sunday Sun reporters who monitored the festival saw beautifully-attired masquerade groups at the Tinubu Square moving in processions into the TBS. There were different groups, ranging from the very young ones to older Eyos.

Observers held their shoes and slippers in their hands, as wearing them is said to be offensive to the masquerades.

At the crowded square, the different masquerade groups danced, gyrated and regaled in processions, amid cheers from the crowd. Each group was distinctly marked by the colour of their wide-brimmed hats, as every one of them was dressed in white covering them to the feet. Each also carried a large stick, with which they flogged people wearing shoes or hats.

Mr Olasede, a carpenter from Iyana-Ipaja who came to witness the event, told Sunday Sun that the hats belonged to the different Eyo societies, which include Eyo Oniko, Orisha, Ologede, Bajulaye, among others.

One of the masquerades, who spoke to Sunday Sun, said they were happy with the Lagos State government and telecommunication giants, Globacom, for their support of the festival, stressing that the people’s confidence has been restored that this aspect of our cultural heritage will survive.

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from vanguardngr.com

Adamu Orisa: Lagos festival play of history…
Written by Azu Akanwa
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Lagosians most respectable and symbolic festival, Adamu Orisa Play otherwise known as Eyo will troupe out the streets of Lagos Island, popularly called Eko in the hinterland of Lagos on April 25, 2009 to mark the final burial rites of late Chief Theophilus Owolabi Shobowale (TOS) Benson (SAN). This year’s festival will mark the 67th in the history of Eyo festival. About 53 groups (Iga) will participate in this year festival with five groups of the orisas as the head of all. The Adimu, (Orisa baba Nla Mila); Okanlaba Ekun (Alakete pupa), the Olopa Eyo; Eyo Orisa Oniko (Abara Yewu), Eyo Orisa Ologede and Eyo Orisa Angere respectively will lead in the festival.

Eyo Masquerades on display

Otunba Benson made forays into politics quite early in his lifetime and made quite an impact. In 1950, when the mayoral system of local government was in force in Lagos, he contested and won election to the Lagos Town Council and emerged the Deputy mayor under the banner of the defunct National Council of Nigerian Citizen (NCNC), while in 1951 he was elected representative of Lagos in the Western House of Assembly. He moved up the ladder in 1953 to become the leader of the opposition party in the House, when the late Chief Nnamdi Azikiwe, the leader of his party and his political mentor, returned to the East to become the premier of that region.

In 1959, he recorded another electoral victory which made him the representative of Lagos in the Federal Parliament. He became Nigeria’s first Federal Minister of Information, courtesy of the political accord between Northern Peoples Congress (NPC), the leading political party at the centre then and the NCNC, his party. Otunba Benson was one of the very few politicians of note in the south-west who was not part of what could arguably be described as the mainstream of Yoruba politics apart from his membership of the Egbe Omo Oduduwa during his student days in the United State of America.

The Supreme head of all Eyo, Adimu (Orisa Baba Nla Mila), has reiterated its uniqueness among other orisa groups of Eyo. Prince Iyanda Bashua, Bashua of Lagos gave this indication at the Awe Adimu in Lagos penultimate week. According to him, the Eyo festival, Adamu Orisa Play is the traditional play of Lagos that is staged for the commemoration of final burial obsequies of an Oba or a chief and sometimes in memory of a deceased person who had contributed to the progress and development of Lagos.

Bashua, who spoke on behalf of Chief Amao Ibikunle, the Akinsiku of Lagos, the Alaworo Eyo and other members of the Olorogun-Agan and Olorogun Igbesodi, said people do not have to recite aro Eyo to participate in Eyo. “In Awe Adimu, only children of Adamu Cult or somebody that is introduced by eminent personality in the society are registered for Eyo Adimu.”

He reiterated further that majority of Eyo of Adimu are eminent personalties in the society. We have doctors, lawyers and justices etc here. No miscreant here!” Bashua explained.

Eyo festival has made a lot of impact in tourism industry from the time the Portuguese first set foot on Eko and christened it Lagos, the Island has attracted foreigners on account of its many advantages as a seaport. It is also gathered from a number of sources at the Awe Adamu (meeting place of Adamu) that traders from Europe were attracted and were content to transact their businesses and get away before the Coast fever claimed them.

However, apart from the Brazilians and Sierra Leonians (freed slaves) who returned from the America, Lagos attracted other Africans and West Indians. Being a seaport, the Island is cosmopolitan and these groups found conditions so suitable to them that they decided to settle in every sense of the word.

This means that they threw their lot with the indigenes and kept only a token association with their original homes. Indeed, their children knew of no other place than Lagos as their home and it is only fair that having lived in the Island for more than seventy years they should have the right to be called Lagosians. These settlers have really proved their worth as part of the indigenous community and a picture of old Lagos is incomplete without their notable families.

Proof of their acceptance is that some of them have married native Lagosians.

However, at the Awe Adimu, (meeting place for Adamu elders) on, Tuesday, 14th April, 2009 for the staging of this year Adamu Orisa Play in the memory of late Chief Theophilus Owolabi Shobowale (TOS) Benson many dignitaries were present.

Vanguard Arts gathered at the Awe that the Eyo Orisa Oniko was formerly the next to Eyo Orisa Adimu in rank but the elders affirmed that Oba Adele during his reign asked for Okanlaba second position and it has been like that since then. Our source also confirmed that Eyo Okanlaba has no orisa but ’Laba (symbolic Bag), which is the property of reigning Oba. Meanwhile, Vanguard Arts, can now reveal that Okanlaba second position in the orisa groups has remained like that and will be so forever.

Adamu Orisa Play has its history dated back to 155 years ago and the procedure for staging it is that any person or family that can afford the expenses of staging it, or any family that wants “Eyo masquerade” in the name of their house must first consult the families of Olorogun Agan and Olorogun Igbesodi and appraise them of such a desire.

The two families will then direct the person or family to the reigning oba of Lagos. The family or the person will be led to the Awe Adimu with the Oba’s official staff and two white capped chiefs.

At the Awe Adimu the person or the family will be issued “Ikaro” to Awe Adimu (all the articles and cash for providing certain things for the obsequities) At this stage, no other family/families is/are allowed to be present at the presentation of ‘Ikaro’ to “Awe Adimu” by the family or person willing to stage Adamu Orisa Play, than the two families of Olorogun Agan and Igbesodi. No other orisa family or Eyo Iga family would also be present. Meanwhile, each “Orisa of Eyo” has traditional functions which it must perform and as directed by the Supreme Head of all the Orisas, the “Orisa Adimu”, including the Eyo Onilaba known as the Eyo Oba or Eyo Alakete Pupa. EYO ONILABA (EYO OBA): They function as the “Police” of the Orisa Adimu Administration. They also ensure and maintain maximum discipline among the Eyo groups.

They must ensure that Eyo groups keep to the rules and, regulations of Adamu Orisa Play or Eyo Play. They take directives from Awe-Adimu and maintain regular contact with Awe Adimu throughout the preparation period and Adamu Orisa Play Day.

Other major function of “Eyo Laba” is to construct “AGODO” an enclosure constructed with mats on the eve of Adamu Orisa Play along Enu-Owa Street. Now Iga Iduganran Street, to house the drummers, on the instruction of the Elders of Awe Adimu. They are among the Eyo groups to lead “Opa Processions” for the announcement of Adamu Orisa Play Day.

“ORISA ONIKO” The outing of this Orisa during the midnight/early morning of Adamu Orisa Play Day is to ensure that the devil and other evil spirits are driven away from the town. The Orisa must choose some of his followers, whom is believed would be taking part in the Adamu Orisa Play, to lead “Opa Processions” for the announcement of Adamu Orisa Play Day.

“ORISA OLOGEDE” similarly, the above mentioned functions of “Orisa Oniko” must be performed within different time of the early morning of Adamu Orisa Play Day. The purposes of Orisa Ologede’s outing at this time is to ensure peace, tranquility and safety to the performance of the day. The followers of Orisa Ologede also lead “Opa Processions” for the announcement of Adamu Orisa Play Day.

© 2008 Vanguard Media Limited
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BLACK MEN,BLACK YOUTH JUST DO IT! WE CAN SOLVE BLACK PEOPLE’S PROBLEMS! BE LIKE OBAMA,LET HIS BLACK EXAMPLE TELL YOU “YES WE CAN!”-FROM SEFERPOST.COM

January 14, 2009

6a00e55290c5048833010536cc7527970c-800wifrom seferpost.com

Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Not Just A Dream: Obama Sparks Black Men To Action
NASHVILLE, Tenn — An actor turns a dilapidated, inner-city mosque into a theater in just a few days. A 20-year-old buckles down on his studies at a historically black college after his mother dies of cancer. A community organizer decides his plan to create thousands of green jobs is too modest and enlarges it twenty-fold.
Not Just A Dream: Obama Sparks Black Men To Action
NASHVILLE, Tenn — An actor turns a dilapidated, inner-city mosque into a theater in just a few days. A 20-year-old buckles down on his studies at a historically black college after his mother dies of cancer. A community organizer decides his plan to create thousands of green jobs is too modest and enlarges it twenty-fold.

Barack Obama’s election to the White House is the very realization of what so many black fathers have told their sons to aspire to for years, even if often it was just a confidence-booster, not meant to be taken literally. And long before he wrapped up the contest, his candidacy had driven these three black men and others to actions they say they might not have taken without his example.

Jeff Obafemi Carr, who had been a successful actor in New York, was debating whether to return there or stay in Nashville, where he wanted to turn a run-down mosque into Nashville’s first black theater in a century. It was an ambitious and daunting idea considering that some in the neighborhood figured the building would wind up as a liquor store or a thrift shop.

Then the 41-year-old remembered a conversation he had with Obama during an Ohio campaign stop. The then-Democratic nominee encouraged him to keep working on his project.

“He told me that we’re going to make a big change for the country with my help,” Carr recalled.

When Carr returned from that event, he put his plan in motion. With the help of community volunteers, donated time from professional builders and materials from corporations, Carr set a date for construction and built the Amun Ra Theatre. Its first major performance will be next month with “Gem of the Ocean,” by American playwright August Wilson.

Throughout the process, Carr said he and the workers repeated Obama’s slogan: “Yes we can.” Now the theater’s Web site proclaims, “Yes, We Did!”

Justin Bowers, a junior at historically black Oakwood University in Huntsville, Ala., was thinking about dropping out after his mother died of cancer two years ago at age 48.

“It was a lot of stress,” Bowers said. “I was struggling. It was really hard.”

A friend pointed out Obama’s perseverance after the president-elect lost his 53-year-old mother to cancer. Bowers said the story motivated him to stay in school and study harder to honor his mom.

“I know she would have wanted me to press on with my life regardless of what adversities might come,” said Bowers, 20, who is majoring in accounting and marketing. “That’s just how I was raised. And clearly, that’s how Barack was raised.”

Van Jones, 40, founded Green For All, a national program that seeks to create clean energy jobs. His Oakland, Calif.,-based program, which employs 25 people and has an operating budget of $4.5 million, was instrumental in passing a portion of a national energy bill, called the Green Jobs Act. It will use up to $125 million to train 30,000 people in jobs such as installing solar panels and retrofitting buildings to make them more environmentally friendly.

With Obama’s election, Jones decided to shop a $33 billion proposal before Congress that would hire about 600,000 over the next two years for similar work.

“I wouldn’t have believed in myself enough to come forward with an idea that bold,” Jones said. “But now, you’ve got somebody who’s up there, who’s telling people, ‘Let’s be bold.’

“The ceiling has come off. We can dream of … bringing new technologies and new jobs into communities that have been left behind. Yes we can.”

Obama’s historic run has provided ammunition for black fathers, too, who can point to it in motivating the next generation of black men. Will Rodgers, a communications manager at an electric company in Tampa, Fla., said he takes every opportunity to talk to his 12-year-old son about Obama and “how our nation has transformed.”

“I want him to understand the gravity of what’s happened,” said Rodgers, who boasts of having been a conservative Republican who never voted for a Democrat for president until Obama.

“He can really be anything he wants to, even president of the United States.”

YORUBA WRITER D.O. FAGUNWA’S GREAT NOVEL “OGBOJU ODE NINU IGBO IRUNMOLE”ON STAGE IN ENGLISH MAKES A COME BACK!-FROM PUNCH NEWSPAPER,NIGERIA SEPT.2008

September 17, 2008

13608-dramaplay1from punchontheweb.com

From Langbodo with blood and gold
By Akeem Lasisi
Published: Wednesday, 17 Sep 2008
At the maiden show of The Adventure in the Forest of a Thousand Daemons, an adaptation of D.O. Fagunwa‘s novel, Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Irunmole, the audience have a taste of magical realism.

A scene from the play.
With the magnificent structures dotting its vast edifying ambience, you can hardly mistake the MUSON Centre, Lagos for any other entertainment arena. So it was for members of the public that trooped into the complex on Saturday to watch The Adventures of a Thousand Demons, Femi Osofisan‘s theatrical adaptation of D. O. Fagunwa‘s Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Irunmole.

But on hitting the entrance of the Shell Hall, which was the venue of the performance, the story changed. A colony of trees on your right, an empire of stones on the left, you were spontaneously transported into a wild forest. It was this forest that ushered you into the expansive hall that also wore the garment of an unfathomable wilderness – dripping with bitter laughter and sweet tears of supernatural spirits.

On the sprawling stage lying ahead of you was a sacred foot path winding meandering through a network of sacred woods. On the roof, and entirely covering the walls of the hall, were ewele mats, which reminded learned members of the audience of the type that Egbere, one of Fagunwa‘s spirit characters wield in the novel. More important, however, was the fact that the eerie stage would soon become the battle ground for the die-hard principalities and brave men on excursion to Oke Langbodo, the ultimate destination of the Fagunwa‘s seven hunters in the mother script. As if you were no more at the MUSON, lions roared, elephants boomed just as wild, wild birds shrieked intermittently to warn the uninitiated of the dangers ahead.

But because the transformation was a make-believe, drums also roared. Tongues wagged in penetrating songs just as practised legs rolled in dance, invoking applause from the audience who were once again jolted back into the beauty of stage plays.

Such were the spectacles that the much publicised play invoked. It was the English version of the script commissioned by Chams Plc, which announced its arrival in the world of theatre promotion and development recently. Simultaneously, revered scholar and writer, Professor Akinwumi Ishola, was asked to write a Yoruba adaptation of the novel, with Tunde Awosanmi and Kola Oyewo directing respectively.

Coming in two parts, Osofisan‘s Adventures into the Forest of a Thousand Daemons captures the trials and triumphs of Akaraogun (Toyin Osinaike) and his hunting colleagues who go in search of a metaphoric Langbodo, for the sake of their fatherland for which they are out to attract resources that will invoke progress.

Since no good thing comes easy – and that is one basic lesson that both Fagunwa and Osofisan teach in the work – they encounter stiff adversity on their way. They have to wrestle with many daemons in the forest. But they too are very much prepared. Apart from physical strength, each of the adventurers has a special natural trait that proves very useful each time the chips are down. For instance, while Kako‘s invincible club can knock even an elephant, Olohun Iyo‘s sweet-singing voice can lure the most dreadful cobra to sleep. Imodoye, a name derived from knowledge and wisdom, is in the team to think and reason intelligently each time his people are in trouble. Very cleverly, Osofisan not only retains such values that Fagunwa wants the reader to pay attention to in human and societal development, he also develops the character of Akaraogun in such a way that he is a symbol of quality leadership – demonstrating determination, perseverance, and sowing no seed of hatred among the hunters he leads.

Among others, the battle with Agbako is hell hot. But for the helping spirit played by Ify Agwu, none of the adventurers would have survived his punch.

Apart from Osinaike, a thoroughbred actor, in the cast were tested hands such as Gogo Ombo Ombo (Elegbede Ode), Taiwo Ibikunle (Olohun Iyo), Martins Iwuagwu (Kako), Simileoluwa Hassan (Efoye) and Afolabi Dipeolu (Imodoye).

Also in action were Tunde Adeyemo (Oba), and actress and poet, Ify Agwu, (Iranlowo), who inspiringly carried the helper spirit that saw the hunters through the promise land.

Although Osofisan is that loyal to the spirit of the novel, he asserts freedom in certain significant areas. For instance, he introduces a lot of songs and dances. Besides, he brings in folklores that he employs to ventilate the structure of the play, while also using such to teach morality. But where he seems to have been extremely creative – or is it the director that should claim the kudos – is the point he introduces the ritual poetry, Iremoje, which hunters use to celebrate a dead colleague.

As fate would have it, the hunters lost three of their members, among who is Kako, whose hot temper remains his insatiable albatross. Now, on returning to their town after about 20 months of search for Langbodo, the hunters burst into Iremoje, and the attempt is very close to the way Yoruba hunters perform the ritual poetry in real life.

Osofisan‘s radical approach can also be seen in his interpretation of Oke Langbodo itself. Speaking through Akaraogun and Iranlowo, the playwright‘s message to the audience is that Langbodo is not a place. It is a moment of revelation, wisdom, knowledge and understanding of what brings peace and progress for the individual and society.

Altogether, The Adventures in the Forest of a Thousand Daemons is a successful exercise in attempting to revitalise live theatre in Nigeria.

Perhaps, the play can be tightened a bit, and this can be achieved by reducing the number of dramatised folklores. Besides, a fat person should have been made to play the role of the elephant.

On the part of Chams, theatre lovers can only hope that it will be able to sustain the project.

According to the company‘s Managing Director, Chief Demola Aladekomo, who led the company‘s workers dressed in dazzling green uniform traditional dresses to the show, it decided to rally the practitioners to the stage because of the roles that drama plays in the society.
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from radiopalmwine.com

Chams resurrects the theatre Muson Centre
By Super Admin Published September 22, 2008

Forest of a Thousand Daemons

The expectation was already high long before Adventures into the Forest of a Thousand Daemons opened to audiences for two days last week in the commodious Shell Hall of Muson Centre in Lagos.

A preview at Ibadan weeks before had writer and journalist, Maxim Uzor Uzoatu, gushing over with praises, declaring the performance as “a rousing advertisement of total theatre.”

Since then, the cast and crew have been beavering away, fine-tuning Professor Femi Osofisan’s adaptation of Daniel Olorunfemi Fagunwa’s Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Irunmole, helpfully translated into English for non-Yoruba readers as The Forest of a Thousand Daemons by Profesor Wole Soyinka.

And when the English version of the play finally opened on Saturday, September 13, the effort of the production crew was not in vain. Neither was the audience disappointed.
And for the sponsors, Chams plc, an acronym for Computer Hardware and Management Services, an information and communications technology company known for its card-based services, e-commerce and mobile payment schemes, it was an unparalleled success.

Guests arriving at Shell Hall that evening were treated to something refreshingly different from the usual fare of concerts and wedding receptions at Muson. Instead of the usual red carpet, there were rolls and rolls of mats, yes mats, leading to the foyer where leafy trees and palms lined the way to the auditorium.
Standing close by the trees were painted dwarves along the aisles, and barefooted maidens in green outfits with plaited hair ushering guests to their seats. Strewn here and there were clay pots containing cowries and shells. And on the stage itself were hefty trees forming the backdrop for a play whose action takes place mostly in a forest.

In the opening scene, we see Akaraogun, an intrepid hunter whose motto can be likened to that of the British SAS (“Who dares wins,”) recounting his exploits to and from the forest of demons, the dangers encountered. Played with gusto by Toyin Oshinaike, he returns to a hero’s welcome by the villagers who are eager to hear his exploits.

Afterwards, there is merriment. While this lasts, the Oba, already chaffing presumably because of Akaraogun’s overwhelming fame, dares him with another challenge – a journey to the summit of Mount Langbodo. Since he is the bravest man in the village, why not take on this new adventure to Mount Langbodo?

A man ever in quest of the unknown, Akaraogun accepts but agrees to ascend the mountain along with five other notable and equally fearless hunters in the community, Olohun Iyo (Taiwo Ibikunle) Kako (Martins Iwuagwu) Efo Iye (Simileoluwa Hassan) Imodoye (Edward Afolabi Dipeolu) and Elegbede Ode (Ombo Gogo Ombo).

Adventures into the Forest is not just a play about an individual with cojones. It is about other human traits of compassion, gratitude, wisdom and, above all, team work. Where the hunters battle Agbako (Martins Iwuagwu) individually and fail, they overwhelm him as a team, thanks to the sagely counsel of Iranlowo.

All the actors acquit themselves creditably, with outstanding perfomances by some. Ify Agwu is one of them. Reminiscent of a Joke Silva on stage, she gave a virtuoso performance in her role as the guardian spirit behind the adventurous hunters such that the audience gave her a spontaneous applause when she curtsied at the end of the play.

Interpersed with song and dance, poetry and proverbs, Adventures into the Forest is a masterful production that professional Thespians like Prof. Osofisan are known for, despite working with a cast of nearly 30. With productions like this, Chams is already living up to their boast of reviving Nigerian’s interest in the stage.

A delightfully long production, the producers/ sponsors were gracious enough to show a documentary on Chams, thus allowing the audience time to reflect on the first part of the performance – as in classical Greek drama – as well as get informed about the ICT company now deeply involved in the arts.
A worthy effort by Chams, no doubt, the production was marred by the choice of Shell Hall. Without the raked seats as you have in the nearby Agip Recital Hall, some of us had to crane our necks to follow the transaction on stage, coupled with ushers who partially blocked the actors from view.

On hand to watch the production were over a hundred members of staff of Chams Plc, distinguished from others in their green outfit and led by the MD/ CEO, Demola Aladekomo and his wife. Mr Tayo Aderinokun, MD of Guaranty Trust Bank, turned up with his wife. There were many more bankers, captains of industry and guests from the academia, as well as Dr. Ahmed Yerima, GM of the National Theatre and laureate of NNLG prize for drama.

As a production, Adventures into the Forest was a success through and through. Endorsed by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, this is one stage production that is sure to revive interest not only in the theatre but also encourage cultural continuity.

For as Awosunmi writes in his directorial note, “only the ghosts of the likes of Fagunwa and Tutuola can help resurrect our collective sense of responsibility and restore our national right to cultural continuity.” For Osofisan, also, staging Adventures into the Forest would not have been possible without Chams.
“Chams is rendering an immeasurable service to the preservation of our culture, at a time when our country like others in the so-called Third World are faced with the menace of globalisation. It is such projects as this that will help the process of our cultural rebirth. Fagunwa has shown us that we have our own folklore and fables, our stories and sagas and heroes as authentically rich, and enriching, as any other in the world.”

In the coming months, Chams will take Adventures into the Forest to Abuja, Ibadan and Ife. Based on what transpired on the Muson stage last week, this is one production audiences in those cities should be reasonably anxious to watch.


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