Archive for the ‘NIGERIA’ Category


June 7, 2010


Symbolism in D.O.Fagunwa’s The Forest of a Thousand Daemons

Alena Rettová

Universität Leipzig, Sommersemester 1999


In this short paper, we would like to propose an interpretation of the symbolism employed in D.O.Fagunwa’s The Forest of a Thousand Daemons. (D.O.Fagunwa, The Forest of a Thousand Daemons, trans. Wole Soyinka, Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd., London (et al.) 1968. All the quotations in the essay marked by only the page number in brackets are from this book.) This interpretation takes its parting point in a model of understanding a system of knowledge put forward by Willard Van Orman Quine. We will apply this model to the symbolic realm which Fagunwa develops in The Forest of a Thousand Daemons. This application will show how the narration of The Forest of a Thousand Daemons can carry a symbolic meaning. Being a symbolic representation has, namely, certain presuppositions. These will be explained in the paper. The results of this investigation might provide a key to interpret and to understand the message communicated to us in The Forest of a Thousand Daemons.

Quine’s Model of a System of Knowledge
Quine’s article “Two Dogmas of Empiricism” (Willard Van Orman Quine: “Two dogmas of Empiricism”, in: From a Logical Point of View. Nine Logico-Philosophical Essays, Harvard University Press, Cambridge (et al.) 1980 (19531), pp. 20-46. The paper appeared for the first time in the Philosophical Review in January 1951.) is an important contribution to the philosophical discussion about the distinction of synthetic and analytic judgements. In the philosophical tradition, analytic judgements are such as are necessarily true, synthetic judgements are statements about the contingent state of the world. The discussion reaches a peak in the work of Immanuel Kant, who divides synthetic judgements into syntetic judgements a priori and synthetic judgements a posteriori (analytic judgements are always a priori and are the mere explication of a concept). Only the latter are casual statements reflecting the actual state of the world. The former lie at the base of human reason and convey a priori necessity to various deductive sciences (arithmetic, geometry and others). In this century, the discussion continues mostly in the Anglo-Saxon philosophy. Analytic judgements are usually reduced to truths of language, the existence of synthetic judgements a posteriori is rejected.
Quine is very original in his denial of the very possibility of the distinction on the basis of his understanding of the way a system of beliefs (such as science) refers to reality. Quine considers our knowledge of the world to be a coherent system of mutually interconnected opinions. “The totality of our so-called knowledge or beliefs, from the most casual matters of geography and history to the profoundest laws of atomic physics or even of pure mathematics and logic, is a man-made fabric which impinges on experience only along the edges.” (Quine, p. 42) For this system he offers us the picture of “a field of force whose boundary conditions are experience”. Let us quote at length his development of this picture:
A conflict with experience at the periphery occasions readjustments in the interior of the field. Truth values have to be redistributed over some of our statements. Reevaluation of some statements entails reevaluation of others, because of their logical interconnections – the logical laws being in turn simply certain further statements of the system, certain further elements of the field. Having reevaluated one statement we must reevaluate some others, which may be statements logically connected with the first or may be the statements of logical connections themselves. But the total field is so underdetermined by its boundary conditions, experience, that there is much latitude of choice as to what statements to reevaluate in the light of any single contrary experience. No particular experiences are linked with any particular statements in the interior of the field, except indirectly through considerations of equilibrium affecting the field as a whole.
If this view is right, it is misleading to speak of the empirical content of an individual statement – especially if it is a statement at all remote from the experiential periphery of the field. Furthermore it becomes folly to seek a boundary between synthetic statements, which hold contingently on experience, and analytic statements, which hold come what may. Any statement can be held true come what may, if we make drastic enough adjustments elsewhere in the system. Even a statement very close to the periphery can be held true in the face of recalcitrant experience by pleading hallucination or by amending certain statements of the kind called logical laws. Conversely, by the same token, no statement is immune to revision. Revision even of the logical law of the excluded middle has been proposed as a means of simplifying quantum mechanics; and what difference is there in principle between such a shift and the shift whereby Kepler superseded Ptolemy, or Einstein Newton, or Darwin Aristotle? (Quine, p. 42f.)

An element which we introduce into the system, such as a new rule, a new object etc., effects an adjustment of the entirety of the representation of reality. This element can be literally anything and it is only our conservativism (our “natural tendency”, as Quine rather mysteriously says (Quine, p. 44)) that leads us to try to keep the system stable by holding on to its central axioms and explaining away the experiences that threaten to disturb the equilibrium of the system rather than incorporating them into the system at the cost of far-reaching adjustments of the whole of the structure.
But such adjustments are in principle not impossible, and if we follow the consideration a little further, we can see the rise of a plurality of interpretations of experience, all consistent in themselves but operating with different objects and following different rules. By reaching thus beyond Quine, we are opening a way to interpret the realm of symbolic representation in Fagunwa’s novel. We will restrict ourselves to Fagunwa’s first novel here, out of our (still) insufficient knowledge of the Yoruba language, but it is evident that a similar interpretation could be provided for his other novels as well, simply by applying the same principle.

Fagunwa’s Forest of Irunmale
The basis of our interpretation is the application of Quine’s model to the peculiar world which we encounter in Fagunwa’s novels. The shift to the “Forest of a Thousand Daemons” is itself a symbol for entering this world, to which we shall refer as the “world of Irunmale” in the following, for the sake of brevity. (We would like to use the word “world” in this connection (the “world of Irunmale“) in the meaning of “a consistent whole”, not referring thereby to the totality of all objects, to the planet Earth, to “the reality” etc. A consistent representation of “the world” in this latter meaning is a “world” in the former meaning. We use the word “realm” synonymically with the word “world” to signify this.) This term, however, is intended to comprise other places of this same peculiarity that appear in the novel, such as the city of Mount Langbodo or the Great Forest, which is the place where Kako lives before he joins the main hero’s, Akara-ogun’s, expedition. This world is, as we shall see later, a symbolic representation of human life. On the hero’s journey through the Forest Irunmale, he encounters various characters which are themselves symbols of human qualities and troubles and who incorporate various human patterns of behaviour.
The first impression we get from reading The Forest of a Thousand Daemons is that we are faced with a world which is incomprehensible and unpredictable. The characters have strange shapes and behave in a way that we fail to understand. So does the hero, although we can feel a certain desorientation in this weird world on his part as well. On a second thought, however, we find the world of the Forest of a Thousand Daemons somehow intuitively comprehensible, although it is still hard for us to explain what message we actually get from reading the novel.
On a third thought, perhaps, we are able to abstract certain morals from the novel by interpreting its symbolism. This is, according to Bamgbose, also a key to explaining the weirdness of the actions and appearance of some of the characters in the novel: “One important aspect of the weird element in the novels is its use as a representation of a symbolic meaning. This is true of several characters in the novels who superficially appear to be weird fictional characters but are really symbolic representations of certain abstract entities.” (Ayo Bamgbose, The Novels of D.O.Fagunwa, Ethiope Publishing Corporation, Benin City (Nigeria) 1974, p. 90.)
Concerning the symbolism in the novels, Bamgbose writes: “(…) Fagunwa’s novels are to be interpreted at more than one level. On the superficial level, they are stories of adventure: A hero sets out on a journey to a forest or in quest of an object. At the deeper level, the journey is an allegory of life’s journey with its attendant problems and difficulties. It is only through an understanding of this deeper level that we can attein the full meaning of the novels.” (Bamgbose, p. 91.) He then goes on to distinguish the symbolism of characters, places and objects, and of plot and gives numerous examples from all of Fagunwa’s novels for illustration.
By applying Quine’s model of understanding a system of beliefs, we would like to show the creation of the “world of Irunmale” as a consistent realm of symbolic representations.
The first step is to prove that it is a coherent whole comprising, if we make a rough list, 1. ontological conditions, that is, conditions defining the possibility of being; 2. rules and laws governing the existence of objects as well as the behaviour of characters and including laws corresponding (for example, in the “scientific” world view) to physical laws as well as moral laws.
These both may be very different from the way they are established in our current understanding of the world, yet it will become apparent that the “world of Irunmale” is in no way a haphazard accumulation of accidents and events, but rather that there are fairly strict rules and restrictions which govern its functioning and that even the seemingly most fortuitous incident must in fact fall in form into certain presuppositions and that it, in its turn, has a sequence of effects according to firm rules (a form of “causality”) which are foreseeable and comprehensible as the outcome of the chain of events that has led to it. This holds true even though we may be to some extent ignorant of these rules or rather are in the process of learning about them and learning to “find our way round” in a world governed by them.
The second step is to try to determine if there are connections between the “world of Irunmale” and our normal world view, and if so, what is the nature of these connections. Symbolically speaking, what are the ways to and back from the Forest of Irunmale which we have to tread each time we desire to transform some of the knowledge acquired in the Forest of Irunmale into knowledge applicable for our “normal” world?
A third step will be to demonstrate that it is the very nature of the “world of Irunmale” as a systematic whole of orientation and of understanding reality that enables it to carry the symbolic function, that is, that these connections are only possible between two systems, of which each is consistent in itself.
The Hero
If we observe the hero, we can see that we are ourselves in a similar situation like himself. His world view, richer than ours perhaps by the belief in magic and witchcraft, is different from the “world of Irunmale“, because on entering it, he is taken by surprise. It is only by a process of experience and of instruction that he gradually learns how to behave in the environment of the Forest Irunmale and how to deal with the weird creatures he encounters there. We can thus join the hero. His task – and now ours as well – is to work out the laws, rules and restrictions of the Forest of Irunmale. The successful accomplishment of this enables in due course the fulfilment of the hero’s mission in Mount Langbodo.
The hero must rely on the fact that the “world of Irunmale” has certain regularities. Otherwise, no orientation in it would be possible. Let us try to find these regularities as well as the ways the hero (and we with him) learns about them. The heros’s first orientation scheme is naturally that of his everyday experience, that of his society, and reflects the world view of the Yorubas. This world view involves certain thought patterns which differ form ours. The most conspicuous difference is perhaps his belief in magic and witchcraft. Indeed, he knows how to put to good use various charms and spells. These spells fit into the causal chain as its regular components.
But the hero’s way of understanding the world which he faces in the Forest of Irunmale leaves him at a loss many times and he has to substantially modify his orientation scheme in order to come to terms with it. We will inquire into the ways this takes place in more detail later. We will start by investigating the structure of the world of Irunmale, as it shows to the naive eye of the reader, that is, we will follow the first clues in reading the novel that give us the impression we are not dealing with only a chaotic imagery sprung out of Fagunwa’s profuse imagination.
First Approach to the World of Irunmale
At first sight, the world of Irunmale appears to be incomprehensible and disordered. We never know what to expect in it. But this is not quite so. By observing it closely, we can discover elements which show that the world of Irunmale does in fact have its principles and rules.
The regularity of the functioning of the world of Irunmale is visible in many ways.
– We see that the behaviour of the inhabitants of the Forest of Irunmale follows rules. The hero usually knows the principles guiding the behaviour of the beings or someone explains them to him. The same holds true for various physical objects as well as for the charms. These laws often digress from the “laws of nature” as defined by today’s physics.
Thus the hero seems able to classify the creatures he finds in the Forest of Irunmale, he refers to the “usual run of ghommids” (p. 43), for example, and the like.
– There are very foreseeable moral laws. We often find the moral behaviour of the beings weird, but it nevertheless fits into a scheme of moral actions, good brings good in effect and evil is punished. Kako kills his wife in a very cruel and unintelligible way, but his deed brings misfortune to the whole group, and it must be redressed by the sacrifice of a bird (p. 75ff.).
– There is a regularity shown in the symbolic usage of numbers. This makes future events foreseeable. The examples are numerous. Symbolic numbers are, for example, the number of three: there are usually three tasks that the hero and his companions have to perform, the third being the most difficult. The number of six is also very important (it is six times that Ajantala abuses his surroundings; the gifts from the king of Mount Langbodo to the king of Akara-ogun’s town are always in six), as is the number of seven (the seven days in the house of Iragbeje).
– The repetition of actions makes future events foreseeable, too. We find several examples. During the fight with Agbako, Agbako mends the hero’s cutlass, then his arm. Another instance of this is the repetition during the above-mentioned number symbolism.
– And finally, the inhabitants of Irunmale behave partly like humans. They have human feelings (pride, sorrow etc.), they respect many moral laws that humans have, and their motivation is mostly understandable from the human perspective.
These are the main sources from which we can deduce the essential structure of the world of Irunmale. Now let us look at the cognitive side of it: how does the hero learn about the regularities in the world of Irunmale?

The Hero’s Apprenticeship in the Forest of Irunmale
The hero’s initial state is a state of ignorance. He does not know the appropriate rules and he has to learn them on his way through the Forest of Irunmale. That he does learn is clear from his later reactions. One example is his later fear of Agbako: in the beginning, he boldly faces the monster and nearly perishes during the fight with him. When he meets Agbako later, he is wiser and reacts by taking to his heels. There are many more instances where it is apparent that the behaviour of the hero has changed in accordance with his newly-acquired knowledge of the regularities of the world of Irunmale.
The acquisition of the knowledge of Irunmale is realized in several ways.
– One of the most important ones is instruction. The hero is instructed by several characters on what the Forest of Irunmale is like. We find very often women in the role of these instructors. The first instructor to the hero is Helpmeet, who explains her own character to the hero and who instructs him on his further travels (p. 29f.). Later on, the hero calls his own mother to help him out of his precarious situation and the mother eventually comes and teaches her child about what to do next. She also reminds him of his task in life and urges him to “try, try to benefit this world before you die and leave it better than you entered it” (p. 59). The hero is also instructed by his wife and by other characters in the Forest of Irunmale as well.
– There are many figures in the novel who are in fact allegorical representations of abstract qualities, such as Dirt, Fear or Help. There are also plenty of other personal names which in an abbreviation characterize those who have them. This is unfortunately mostly lost in the English translation and with many characters it is no longer clear that they really represent a feature of human nature, for example, the brother of Olohun-iyo, whose name is Oto (in Yoruba, “difference”), and who resolves to accompany the extremely repulsive character Egbin (“Dirt”) on his ways, that is, something a “normal” person would never do.
These characterizing names make the orientation in the world of Irunmale easier, because one can often guess what one can expect from the otherwise unknown creatures as soon as one learns their names.
– The creatures very often describe themselves, as it were in a brief introduction. We find a number instances of this, such as the Crown Prince of Forests (p. 20f.) and others. The introduction provides a key to the behaviour of the beings and enables the hero to adjust his behaviour to the creature in question appropriately.
– Besides, the hero relies, of course, on his own observation and experience and learns from it.
The Structure of the World of Irunmale
We can now attempt a description of the structure of the Forest of Irunmale.
We will start by defining the ontological preconditions of being. We have seen that the kinds of beings that we can encounter in the Forest of Irunmale are, indeed, different from what we would expect in our everyday life. This difference shows mainly in:
– the existence of invisible beings and elements (witches, charms). These can fulfil quite regularly functions we normally ascribe only to physical beings, such as being parts in a chain of causal interaction.
– the possibility of metamorphoses of beings, that is, of the shift from one category of being to another (eg. the changing of Akara-ogun’s mother into antelope or the changing of Akara-ogun’s future wife successively into a tree, into an antelope, into fire, into a bird, into water, and into a snake). The changed being then resumes more or less the characteristics typical of the new category of being while at the same time preserving some of the old ones (mostly the capacity to speak and think like a human).
– the blending of different categories of being (the king of the City of Birds is an ostrich with a human head, Efoiye grows feathers etc.).
– the existence of other categories of beings than in our own world (gnoms, dewilds, various monsters etc.).
In all the strangeness that we perceive in these differences, we still can see that each being that appears in The Forest of a Thousand Daemons must respect some preliminary conditions of being. Without striving at a complete inventory of these prerequisites of being, we can name a few: mortality (if it is a “live” being), morality, identity, capacity to be a part of a causal chain etc. The completion of the list is not possible, because the observations we deduce the conditions from are only fragments of the experience of Irunmale. But it is not our intention to give an exhaustive description of the world of Irunmale. Rather, it is important to demonstrate that such description of its regularities and “logical” structure is possible.
As far as the principles (rules, laws) are concerned according to which the beings in Irunmale behave, we can give the following generalizations.
– In all of the ontological transformations, the personal identity remains unharmed. Thus in the two above-mentioned examples, Akara-ogun’s father does not recognize his wife in the form of an antelope, but he kills her all the same, the woman has preserved her identity throughout the transformation; Akara-ogun identifies his fiancée in all of her metamorphoses and clings to her whatever shape she might assume.
– There are rules and restrictions to the behaviour of all the creatures. Thus the ghommids have their habits (“it is only at night that they [ the ghommids] conduct their business”, p. 15, Akara-ogun’s wife later on abandons her husband, because “[ a] spirit like the ghommid cannot join with human beings to live together, for evil are their thoughts every day of their lives”, p. 66f.). Sometimes these rules are in accordance with the rules we are used to from our life, sometimes they are different, but nonetheless they are firm and provide for the regularity in the Forest Irunmale.
The Journeys to the Forest of a Thousand Daemons
The hero travels to the Forest of Irunmale, but the forest is a metapher of a different world. The return from this world to the normal world of the hero’s life happens often by means of the metapher of a house: the hero is mysteriously transported to his room at the end of his first journey to the Forest of Irunmale (p. 34), his second journey is finished by finding a hut (p. 66), where his cousin resides. This hut is the abode of the normal – of the hero’s family, of his connections to the world of humans. Significantly, the house is no longer needed when the hero has acquired such dexterity in travelling to the Forest of Irunmale that he can reach and leave it at will, i.e. during his last expedition.
The question we would like to pose here is whether there are connections between these two worlds. Or does the hero, on entering the Forest of Irunmale, enter a completely different world that has no connection to the world of his normal life? What is the nature of these connections, provided there are some?
The connection lies in that the hero in fact finds elements from his normal life even in the Forest of Irunmale. These elements start off his understanding of and orientation in the world of Irunmale which then spreads to its other regions. The hero then moves about in the world of Irunmale, but his experience in the Forest of Irunmale shows regularities that he can transfer back into his normal life in the form of examples of model behaviour and as symbols and allegories. The behaviour of various creatures from the Forest of Irunmale serves in fact as an abstraction, a picture, devoid of further characterization other than that which is part of its constitution as a symbol, which illustrates well diverse aspects of human life. These are the journeys to and from the world of Irunmale, these are the connections between the two. But we still have not found out what it is that makes it possible for one world to bear the symbolic function, for one world to be a representation of another or to enable parts of itself to refer to parts of another world. This is the subject of the following chapter, but first we must mention another connection between the two worlds, in fact, one that is between them without symbolism.
One very important bridge between the two worlds, which provides an immediate connection and a source of understanding, indeed, the source of all the rules that there are in our world as well as in that of Irunmale, is God and his reason. God is the source of all logical and moral laws and principles, he created all beings and endowed them with inherent principles of their existence. God is the real a priori that all beings must be in accordance with, the law of all laws, the source of laws and beings that might come up in all possible worlds. God is the most immediate connection between the two worlds, and whenever the hero resorts to the contemplation of God, he is able to understand well whatever is happening around him.

The Symbolic Function of the Forest of Irunmale
Our thesis is that it is the very regularity of the world of Irunmale that enables the interpretation of the world of Irunmale as a symbolic representation. The hero has to find regularity in the world of Irunmale, he must see Irunmale as a consistent whole, because consistence, which in itself is an interconnected regularity, is a precondition of comprehensibility. For individual events only make sense and can be understood on the background of a systematic whole of orientation and of understanding reality. Comprehesibility, in turn, is the essence of symbolic representation: a thing is comprehensible to us not as being another thing, but as a symbol for another thing. But for this to take place, we must be able to intuit both the worlds in order to transform the relations in the one into appropriate relations in the other, that is, we must already have an understanding of the events in the world we consider as symbolical (a slightly different matter is the prima facie allegorical representation: here a character is simply a personification of an abstract quality, and thus an appropriation of the “moral of the story” is possible by means of a simple depersonalization of the entity).
It is not the hero’s picture of this world that must be consistent, i.e. not his knowledge, but rather the world in itself must consistent: it must make the discovery of regular relations possible. The hero’s knowledge certainly is not perfect, but the world he has knowledge of must be such as enables this knowledge to be perfectible, that is, by learning, an increase and improvement of the hero’s picture of this world need be possible. This does in fact happen.
The hero works out the rules governing the world of Irunmale in order that he can find his way round in the Forest of Irunmale. He approaches the world of the Forest as a consistent whole which makes learning possible, he learns, he applies the acquired knowledge in his next adventures, and it proves to be working. This means the hero has acquired adequate knowledge of the Forest of Irunmale. This adequate knowledge need not be complete or “correct”, just as we do not know completely or (assuredly) correctly the current world of our everyday experience. Adequate knowledge means here knowledge that works, that helps in the everyday dealing with the world around. So the hero, without posing himself questions concerning the “origin” or the “essence” of what he encounters in the Forest of Irunmale, begins to understand its regularities and learns to deal appropriately with this weird world.
The ultimate guarantee of the regularity of the world of Irunmale is God. Thus we find the following assurance given to the hero by Helpmeet: “(…) even if it came to pass that the world turned topsy-turvy, that fowls grew teeth and the oil palm grew coconuts, God will not fail to reward every man according to his deeds.” (p. 29)
The hero has understood the world of Irunmale as a consistent, law-governed whole, and it is this very understanding that makes it possible for him to draw a lesson from his adventures in it and transpose them onto the plane of his everyday life. That this happens is sufficiently clear from the frequent didactic remarks with which the narrator (who speaks in the first person as the hero) intersperses his story. Having discovered the regularities of the bizarre world of the Forest of Irunmale, the hero can understand them as pictorial, i.e. symbolic representations of things in the normal world. The understanding the hero has acquired of the world of Irunmale need not be without gaps. There is still room enough for “wonder” and “amazement”. Sometimes beings behave according to rules that are incomprehensible to the hero and thus appear as chaotic. What matters, however, is that the most of the hero’s experience in the world of Irunmale does make sense and can be subsumed under general rules. In fact, there must be a fairly solid background of regular occurrences for anything to appear “amazing” and calling forth “wonder”. In a world whose structure would be insufficiently consistent, whose chaos would be so great that no systematical subsumption under a set of laws would be possible, all learning or symbolical understanding would be impossible, because such a world simply makes no sense.
Here we can recall Quine’s model. We have seen that although the “input” data of the world of Irunmale were different from those we accept in our everyday life, they still led to the creation of a consistent world which consists of beings and laws and which can be made the object of knowledge and the source of learning. The variation of experience (of the “input” data) leads to the adjustment of the general laws that have been abstracted from it. Quine rejects the possibility of separate treatment of individual statements. They cannot be said to be true or false except on the background of the whole system of knowledge. In Quine’s terse formulation: “The unit of empirical significance is the whole of science.” (Quine, p. 42)
Our suggestion is that the same, mutatis mutandis, holds good for the world of the Forest of Irunmale, that namely the (intuitive or reflexive) cognition of the structure of the whole is a necessary condition for the understanding of individual events.
The question that remains to be answered is whether the understanding of the whole provides a key to an interpretation of the symbols contained in the book The Forest of a Thousand Daemons. We know that it is a necessary condition for the understanding of the individual to somehow understand the whole; but is it in any way helpful to try to reflect on this world? Could we not do with the fragmentary interpretation of the individual symbols without bringing reflectedly to consciousness
We would like to leave the question open, at least partly, but the answer lies with all likelihood in the measure of bizarreness we encounter in Fagunwa’s writing. The world he describes is so distinct from the experience of our everyday life that it makes a more comprising, holistic interpretation necessary, provided we do not want to plunge into the superficial flow of scenes for mere amusement at the sight of the picturesque and the fantastic.
Besides, there is a highly practical side to the interpretation of the world of Irunmale as a systematic representation of reality comparable (or even parallel) to our current world view. Reading Fagunwa’s novels, we are present at the creation of a meaningful “world” and the corresponding “world view”, which differs substantially from ours, yet cannot be called “wrong”, and which, through its genesis and continuous discovery before our eyes, makes observable how world views that are different from ours “work” and function, how they house meaning and how they refer to the reality. This might make us more sensitive to real-life world views that are incomprehensible to us at first sight, such as the systems of beliefs of various religions and the like. For the world of Irunmale is quite simple, yet it is highly demanding for comprehension, thus it can serve as a good model for other alternative systems of explaining the reality than that of our own.
Besides the ethical dimension of rehabilitating the dignity of these alternative belief systems, a more accurate insight into the functioning of a different system of beliefs would be very useful in today’s study of indigenous African thought systems, where one often has the feeling that the scholars, philosophers trained in the tradition of the analytical philosophy, simply use the wrong tools to explain the belief systems of their respective nations, that they apply wrong rules to operate with the given mental entities. For example, it is hardly more than conceptual acrobatics to analyze whether there is or there is not “free will” in play during the choosing of one’s destiny before birth, as in the Yoruba world view. This is empty application of logical rules from one system on the concepts of another and does not bring us much farther than to acknowledge that there are, indeed, some bizarre ideas in the system whose concepts we are investigating. It is quite obvious that the imported ideas will not fit just so, at first hand, into our own conceptual scheme. Rather, it is much more becoming to investigate the system of beliefs as a whole that has its own inherent regularities and laws, along the Quinean lines, and analyze its appropriation of the physical and cultural reality of its bearers as a meaningful and immanently understandable interconnection of beliefs.
The description of the world of Irunmale could be made more accurate than it has been sketched in this paper. But we hope that the principal ideas have been made sufficiently clear and that the paper as a first approach has served its purpose.

Forest of a Thousand Daemons (Pan-Africa Library)Forest of a Thousand Daemons: a Hunter’s SagaExpedition to the Mount of Thought: The third saga : being a free translation of the full text of D.O. Fagunwa’s Yoruba novel Irinkerindo ninu Igbo elegbejeThe novels of D. O. Fagunwa


May 23, 2010




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The N.O. Idowu that I know The beauty of Africa
Is slain upon the high places.
How are the mighty fallen!

SIR: The Erin-wo epitaph clearly sums up people’s general opinion of the eventful life and times of Chief (Dr) Nathaniel Olabiyi Idowu (OFR), the Mayeloye and the Okanlomo of Ibadan land. Chief Idowu led a crowded life of progress and specular achievements in virtually all fields of human endeavour Ð as a community leader, philanthropist, pillar of sports, business tycoon, devout Christian, committed family man and a complete Omoluwabi.
Steadfast, diligent, disciplined, intelligent, honest, firm and forthright, N.O. all though, kept his head while others were losing theirs, in the face of challenges and vicissitudes of life. He was adored by his admirers and venerated even by his detractors, over whom he perched mightily like an eagle bird on the giant Baobab tree. He was in perfect accord with friends and at peace and harmony with all who dug holes round him.
Chief Nathaniel Olabiyi Idowu had no space in his tender heart to harbour malice, rancour and recriminations. His heart was a level-ground for positive thinking and record-breaking tendencies. No nooks, no crannies. Several times he had summoned us in African Heritage Research Library and Cultural Centre (AHRLC) to Lagos, to discuss confidential matters which touched his heart intimately, and these were matters concerning the progress and development of Eniosa, Adeyipo, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria and Africa. At such meetings, N. O. would bubble with hope, optimism and the commitment of a true messiah, on a rescue mission to improve the lot of his people. A great lover of the rural communityÉ When we took the news to him about Chief Afe Babalola’s unprecedented act of philantropism to AHRLC at Adeyipo village, he grabbed his phone and poured encomiums on the legal luminary telling him, “You have done what Napoleon would not do, Afe, turning back the Duke of Wellington. May Almighty God continue to enrich your purse and bless you abundantly as you put smiles on the faces of my people. Congratulations.”
On Saturday, September 24, 2005, during the official commissioning of AHRLC, Chief N. O. Idowu risked his health to grace the occasion. That day, he met with seven thousand jubilating community people of Olorunda Abaa, Igbo-Elerin and Igbo-Oloyin waiting impatiently to welcome their mentor and leader with traditional dundun and sekere music. Fortified by a sudden gift of good health and strength from above, N.O came that day to Adeyipo smiling, singing and dancing (in company of late Archdeacon Emmanuel Alayande and Chief Mrs. C.A. Idowu, his amiable wife, in front of a vociferous community audience who bestowed on him honour and recognition, never before witnessed in Lagelu Local Government Council of Ibadan, Oyo State. Together with Chief N. O. Idowu (our beloved Grand Patron) we formulated a universal caption for the task ahead of us in AHRLC, it is that: We have great works to do,
We have been called upon to build a new Africa
And a new Black World.
The N.O. Idowu that I know was a patriotic and worthy son of Africa. A man who stretched himself to ensure relief and comfort for the poor and the needy. A man who put others first and himself last; who kept sleepless nights to secure solutions to the problems of the society. A great man who left his footmarks boldly in the sands of time.
Chief (Dr.) Nathaniel Olabiyi Idowu (OFR) can never die, in the hearts of all of us who love him at home and abroad. He will forever be aliveÉ so, Death be not proud! Because those whom thou thinketh thou slayest, Dieth not, Poor Death!
Bayo Adebowale.
Adeyipo Village, Ibadan


May 23, 2010



By Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade

Bayo Adebowale, poet,novelist,short story writer,critic, teacher and librarian,was born in Adeyipo Village, Lagelu Local Government Area of Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria, on 6th June, 1944,to a peasant farmer and traditional drummer, Alagba Ayanlade Oladipupo Akangbe Adebowale. His mother, Madam Abigael Ayannihun Atunwa Adebowale is a traditional rara chanter and dancer,who hails from the neighbouring Apon Onilu Village,Ibadan, Oyo State.

Bayo Adebowale attended St. Andrew’s Kindergarten School at Kufi I Village, and St. Andrew’s Senior Primary School, Bamgbola, Igbo-Elerin District of Ibadan, where he obtained his Grade A Primary School Leaving Certificate in December, 1955. Thereafter, he was admitted to the Local Authjority Secondary Modern School, Aperin, Ibadan, between 1956 and 1958. In 1959,he became a pupil teacher at St. Mathias Primary School, Busogboro,Oluyole Local Government Area, Ibadan. The need to be trained as a teacher took him to Ilesa where he was admitted to St Peter’s Grade III Teacher College between 1960 and 1961. He was headmaster of St. Michael’s Primary School,Eko-Ajala,near Ikirun, Osun State, from January 1962 to December 1964. He was transferred to head another school in 1965-St. Andrew’s Primary School, Ilawe,three miles from Ifon, Osun State.

In 1966, the year of Nigeria’s military coup,Bayo Adebowale gained admission to Baptist College, Ede for his Higher Elementary Grade II Teacher Training Programme, which he finished in 1967 with Merit in ten subjects, including English Language, English Literature and Music. At Baptist College, Ede, Adebowale’s creativity boomed. He was a College House Prefect, the Secretary Literary and Debating Society,and the Editor of the College magazine,The Echo . He was a voracious reader of English and African novels;an ardent reader of the works of great writers like Gerald Durrel,Rider H.Haggard,Jane Austen, Daniel Defoe,John Buchan,R.L. Stevenson,Alexandre Dumas, Charles Dickens,Cyprian Ekwensi, Chinua Achebe, Elechi Amadi, Alan Paton, Peter Abrahams and Amos Tutuola. Bayo Adebowale’s creative ebullience was kept alive as a Higher Elementary (H.E.) teacher at Baptist School, Afolabi Apasan (near Araomi Akanran)Ibadan,between d1968 and 1970 and also at Ibadan City Council Primary School, Agugu, between 1970 and 1971.

In October,1971,he was admitted to read English at the Universtiy of Ibadan, having passed his General Certificate of Education(GCE) at both the Ordinary and the Advanced levels, between 1968 and 1971. He graduated Bachelor of Arts (Hon.) English in 1974 and had his National Youth Service Corps at St. Augustine’s Teachers’ College, Lafia, Benue-Plateau State, Northern Nigeria, from July 1974 to July 1975.

Bayo Adebowale was employed as an Education Officer (English) by the Western State Public Service Commission Between August, 1975 and August 1979 when he was posted to the Government Trade Centre at Oyo as an English Instructor. But in-between, Adebowale was given admission to the University of Ibadan for his Post Graduate Diploma in Applied English Linguistics (1976) and his Master of Arts Degree in English, which he successfully completed idn December 1978. His higher educational status qualified him for employment at the Oyo State College of Education,Ilesa,where he was appointed a Lecturer I in English in September 1979. He was posted back to St. Anderew’s College(then a Campus of OYSCE Ilesa) to head the School of Arts as the Deputy Dean,in 1981. He became athe Acting Dean of the School of Arts in Oyo State College of Education,Ila-Orangun in 1987. After the creation of Osun State(out of Oyo State) in 1991,Bayo Adebowale returned to his State of origin, with other officers of Oyo State indigenes working at OYSCE Ila-Orangun and was redeployed to The Polytechnic,Ibadan where he,at various times, as a Senior Principal Lecturer,was a Head of Department, and Acting Dean, and the Deputy Rector of the Institution between 1999 and 2003. Bayo Adebowale completed his Doctor of Philosophy Programmed in Literature in English at the University of Ilorin in May,1997.

To date, Bayo Adebowale has published over one hundred short stories in magazines, journals and papers in Nigeria and abroad.He admires a lot the works of distinguished writers, in the short story genre, like Edgar Allan Poe, Guy de Maupassant, Ernest Hemingway, Somerset Maugham, Toni Morrison, Doris Lessing, O. Henry,Jack London, Stephen Crane, Judith Wright, Agnus Wilson, Chinua Achebe,Eyprian Ekwensi, Ama Ata Aidoo, Ngugi Wa Thiong’o,Ben Okri, A.G.S. Momodu, Rasheed Gbadamosi,Lekan Oyejide, Nadine Gordimer, Lekan Oyegoke and Danbudzo Marechera.

In 1972,Adebowale’s short story,”The River Goddess” won the Western State Festival of Arts Literary Competition, in Ibadan, Nigeria and in 2002,he edited a collection of new Nigerian short stories-Talent-involving the words of fifteen Nigerian writers,including those of Femi Osofisan, Wale Okediran, Akeem Lasisi,Lekan Oyegode, Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade,and Amos Tutuola. Adebowale’s short stories had appeared in important Anthologies like Frontiers:Nigerian Short Stories (1992)d;A Passage to Modern Cicero (2003) and Horizon Journal,University of Ibadan (1975). Adebowale’s short stories are collected in book form in Iron Hand,Girl About Town; and Book Me Down. His collection A New Life was published in 2006 by Bounty Press,Ibadan.

Over ninety per cent of Bayo Adebowale’s short stories have rural setting, and deal with local community people in Nigerian villages and hamlets. A common trend of culture runs through them, stretching into his poetry and his three full-length novels.

For Adebowale the so-called modern society has nothing to offer to communal African village life “except chaos, corruption and other manifestations of of western narcissim”. Africa,for Adebowale,is a passion. “The contemorarisation of the mystic of the African essence is an addiction”.

Bayo Adebowale exhaustively examines the theme of culture in his poetry. Village Harvest,his first book of poetry,bears testimony to this. All the fifty-eight poems in the collection discuss sceneries,seasons,people,places, experiences,events and beliefs of the rural community people. This same trend is discernible in his second book of poetry,A Night of Incantations; where Yoruba traditional incantations are broken into three broad categories, viz: Malevolent Incantations;Benevolent Incantations and Propitiatory Incantations. In 1992,Bayo Adebowale’s poem, “Perdition” won the Africa Prize in the Index on Censorship International Poetry Competition in London. Quite a good number of his poems have been anthologized in Poetry for Africa 2(United Kingdom),Index on Censorship Journal (United Kingdom),African Literature Association Bulletin(Canada);Poetry Drum (Nigeria) and Crab Orchard Review(United States of America).Adebowale’s latest collection of poems, African Melody (2008) gives a realistic literary repositioning of the African Continent and has been acknowledged as”deeply reseached and a compotently crafted work of art”.

Today, Bayo Adebowale is most well-known as a novelist. His first novel,The Virgin, has been adapted into two home videos under the titles of “The White Hankerchief” and later as a thirteen week National Television Serial under yet another tile- “The Narrow Path” -all by the Main Frame Film Organization of Lagos under the directorate of the ace Nigerian cinematographer-Tunde Kelani. Adebowale’s second novel,Out of His Mind has several tiimes also been adapted for the stage. Both novels have been used by researchers as final-year Long Essay Projects in Colleges of Education, and for the Bachelor of Artrs degree final-year research and for Master of Arts dissertations in Nigerian Universities. His third novel, Lonely Days is probably his most ambitious literary endeavour to date. The novel predictably deals with an important aspect of the African culture-widowhood- and has its setting, predictably also, in African rural environment. Adebowale has two other yet to be published novels:Sweetheart and Lone Voice Bayo Adebowale has been described variously as “an advocate of the grassroots people”,”a village novelist” and “a protagonist of the African culture and tradition”and “Africa’s Charles Dickens”.

His pet project, The African Heritage Research Library (at Adeyipo Village, Lagelu Local Government Area,Ibadan,Oyo State,Nigeria) is the first rural community-based African studies research library on the Continent. The objectives of the Centre are (i) to serve the educational needs of students, researchers, scholars, documentalists, and archivists in Africa and all over the world;and (ii) to serve the socio-cultural needs of the local community people:peasant farmers,local artisans, craftsmen and women in African villages and hamlets. Adebowale’s Centre at Adeyipo Village, now incorporates the cultural aspect of the life of the people with the introduction of a Music of Africa Auditorium,a Medicinal Herbs Garden and a Talking Drum Museum.
The establishment of the African Heritage Research Library and Cultural Centre (AHRLC) has helped a lot to enhance the quantity and quality of Bayo Adebowale’s literary output.The African Heritage Research Library has a formidable Board of Advisors which include eminent scholars and writers all over the world like Ngugi Wa Thiong’o,Elechi Amadi, Niyi Osundare,Bernth Lindfors,Akinwumi Isola;Femi Osofisan;Sam. A. Adewoye,Lekan Oyegoke, Tony Marinho and Niara Sudarkasa.
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This entry was posted on February 9, 2009 at 2:52 pm and is filed under AFRICAN FILMS, AFRICAN FILMS BASED ON NOVELS, AFRICAN LITERATURE(GENERAL), AFRICAN NOVELS, AFRICAN SHORT STORIES, AFRICAN WRITERS, BAYO ADEBOWALE:A GREAT AFRICAN WRITER, BLACK WRITERS, NIGERIAN LITERATURE, POST-COLONIAL AFRICAN LITERATURE. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


May 13, 2010


telephone- 080-3449-5485
ATI OMO MI (my child’s name is) FEHINTOLU,not tolufe toluwa!
The Destruction of Black Civilization Athena Writes Back: Martin Bernal Responds to His Critics


May 13, 2010



By Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade


Sunday, July 20, 2008



Kelani Caricatures OBJ In Arugba

THERE’s no mistaking the parody of former President Olusegun Obasanjo in the action of Peter Badejo’s character in Tunde Kelani’s newest film, Arugba, screened at the University of Ibadan’s Arts Theatre last Wednesday.

In the presence of Obasanjo’s close aide, Afe Babalola, who was guest of honour at the event, one of the series commemorating the University’s 60th anniversary, Kelani presented the story of a king of an imaginary small town, somewhere in Nigeria’ s southwest, who makes a loud splash against corruption, rigorously prosecutes an economic reform and handily welcomes foreign investors. But the word on the street is that the fruits of the reform don’t trickle down, the Kabiyesi deeply distrusts people, including his assistants, believes in his own gut feeling and has enough weakness for women to compromise on his own core principles. The leadership portrait emerges as the key subplot in a love drama featuring the Arugba, the virgin who carries the sacrificial calabash during the Osun Osogbo festival and a young dancer intent on winning her. Bukola Awoyemi is fresh as a sea breeze as the Arugba and the movie benefits from its wide array of experienced stars, including Lere Paimo, Kareem Adepoju, Bukky Wright and Badejo, himself an accomplished artiste, who is making a debut in Nigerian movie project. There’s applause for Segun Adefila’s choreography and his direction of the winsome Crown Troupe in segments that feature as drama within the drama. But Adefila’s portrayal of the Arugba’s suitor is rather casual and comes up rather plain in this gripping, fast paced feature. Kelani is a brilliant arranger of pictures (the sequencing is consistently neat) and an ardent promoter of the Yoruba worldview. He’s also a gadgetry freak. The film is shot in High Definition format (with Panasonic P2 HD/DV) which can be outputted in 35-mm celluloid print. “The technology is getting more exciting,” the filmmaker enthuses. Arugba feels, like most TK’s other films, an intimate story telling, something gorgeous for the family around the dining table at home. But what stops this outstanding filmmaker from reeling out a grand, sky hugging, vast vista of a movie, with crowds that actually look like real crowds in big festivals, with festival rehearsal scenes that are close to frenetic preparations that actually happen before a mammoth feast like Osun Oshogbo’s, with picturesque sites that are comparable with Osun groves, and an airy landscape that take the movie outside of intimate, family drama? At the height on which he stands in African cinema, Kelani can raise the money for such a movie.
Osofisan, Ishola Tackle Fagunwa On Stage

THE playwright Femi Osofisan is directing the play Langbodo, Wale Ogunyemi’s adaptation of Daniel Fagunwa’s epic novel, Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Irumole. Akinwunmi Ishola, the professor of Yoruba studies, will be directing a stage adaptation of the same novel, in Yoruba. Osofisan is running rehearsals with his cast in Ibadan, whereas Ishola has camped his actors in Ile Ife. The premiere is August 15, in Lagos and there will be performances in Lagos, Ibadan and Abuja. It seems likely that the Yoruba performances will run on stages in some key southwest cities. Chams, the electronic card company, is the sponsor.
CORA Holds Book Editing Workshop In October

THE Committee For Relevant Art (CORA), working in partnership with Bookbuilders Editions Africa, is hoping to bring back Dan Izevbaye, emeritus professor of English as well as Gbenro Adegbola, CEO, Evans Brothers, to address participants at the 3rd Workshop On Book Editing, which holds from October 22 to 24, in Lagos. “The two are quite popular with our participants,” says Chris Bankole, head of Book Builders and the workshop’s leading facilitator. “Everyone wants to hear Prof Izevbaye talk about editing a novel and everyone wants to hear Gbenro speak on the publishing process.” The Workshop On Book Editing was started last year for the purpose of developing a generation of fully trained book editors who are expected to energise the book industry. Participants are given a general overview of the editorial process, initial assessment of a book, copy editing, substantive editing, science editing, proof-reading, indexing, grammar and usage, cliches, Nigerian malapropisms. The workshop looks at the challenges in editing creative writing, both of children and adult fiction and has a do-it-yourself segment. Participation fee is N20,000.

ANA Pairs T.M. Aluko With Mandela At 90

THE Lagos Chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), wants to celebrate TM Aluko’s 90th birthday by visiting him at home to read from his works as well as from writings of the South African sage Nelson Mandela. It’s not clear why Chike Ofili, the chapter’s chairman wants a pairing of the two men, in Aluko’s Apapa home, on July 26. Other than sharing the same age, the two grandfathers don’t come across as having similar priorities in the prime of their lives. Mandela is not a writer; his Long Walk To Freedom is a product of an extensive interview after 27 years in jail. Aluko did not lead a rebellion, although one of his novels, Conduct Unbecoming is a substantial effort at illuminating where Lagos went wrong and how a once carefully governed city ended up a chaotic urban sprawl whose leaders interprete the phrase ‘mega city’, as something hip when really it means uncontrollable. But you have to give it to Ofili. He looks for material where there appears to be none, just to keep the society, ANA in the public consciousness. He had actually led a team of writers to Pa Aluko’s house on the day of his birth, which was June 14. “Aluko, like Ekwensi, hasn’t been properly attended to in terms of literary scholarship,” Ofili says. “On July 26, we are giving him a home delivery.” Ofili is scouting for those who have Mandela’s writings and any South African resident in Nigeria who happens to be a culture enthusiast. His contact is He also appeals to ANA members who are 50 years and above “to be there by 2pm to partake in celebrating longevity in this season of deaths in the art family.”

© 2003 – 2007 @ Guardian Newspapers Limited (All Rights Reserved).

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This entry was posted on September 20, 2008 at 9:30 am and is filed under AFRICA, BLACK CHILDREN, BLACK CULTURE, BLACK MEN, BLACK NATIONALISM, BLACK PEOPLE, BLACK WOMEN, BLACKS IN AMERIKKKA!, THE BLACK RACE, TUNDE KELANI-GREAT YORUBA FILM MAKER, YORUBA FILMS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
Bisi Afrika Says:

October 16, 2008 at 4:23 pm

hello, i will like to say well done to the master of all filme maker in nigeria today, which is TUNDE KELANI and TADE OGIDAN, they are mt role model because they produce and direct. Anythings you guys do i think is the best.

I use to appreciate people like LATE YOMI OGUNMOLA, MUYIWA ADEMOLA, ANTAR LANIYAN, ABBEY LANRE, SAHEED BALOGUN and my youngest Directoe and producer KUNLE AFOD.
As for me i will like to a great Script Writer & Producer Like TADE OGIDAN & TUNDE KELANI

Yoruba films is best.

Bisi Afrika Says:

October 16, 2008 at 4:30 pm

To Mr. Tunde Kelani and Mr. Tunde i will like to have their contact, is very important to me, because i want to know more about you people and i also have a gift of write a good story.

Sir, i need your support by getting your phone No. or email address.

This is my own phone No.08051841122, 07025448278 or E-mail address


Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade Says:

October 17, 2008 at 12:11 pm

Bisi Afrika,will send this to T.K. at his e-mail and he will reply you- oda? O se o.

olabode odeyemi Says:

November 6, 2008 at 10:06 pm

you’ve been known to produce GOOD FILMS,baba,one day our film will win an oscar award.this i pray .amen

Wilson Says:

November 23, 2009 at 5:31 am


can u pls link me up with Olabode Odeyemi, we went to high school together and have lost touch for over 21 years. I currently lives in Philadelphia USA. Thanks

adekunle abiola Says:

November 8, 2008 at 11:03 am

Kudos, Baba! I must say i know arugba will be a blockbuster like any of your films. Cant wait to see it, I really need to cause i need it for my project. Be good to inform me when u’re showing the film in any cinema in nigeria, pleeeeeease. Sky is ur beginning sir, Long life!

Durowade Najeem Olarewaju Says:

April 14, 2009 at 9:41 am

I think the movie industry can strive better with the likes of Tunde Kelani and Tade Ogidan being in the administative post.I mean they are just too great.I think that’s why you don’t see them producing movies anyhow like most of our young producers.They are the ICON of our time in Yoruba land.

oye Says:

December 7, 2009 at 9:53 am

Uncle TK,

Well done sir.

ls when will arugba get into the market for us to have in our homes?


Flint Says:

January 15, 2010 at 4:01 pm

why are we african so obssessed to win an oscar, this goes to say we still do not believed that what we have is the best, we wait on the white man to approve it first before we believe it is good enough. What is with this winning oscar of a thing, by the way the oscar is not even a world award it is a hollywood award with just a section for best foriegn language movie, now does that translate to a world award, why can’t we take pride in what is ours, why can’t the amma(african movie academy award) be the highest award and honour to an african film maker, why must we always think that what we have is not good enough until the white says it is good enough, i believe the amma is what all africans should be hoping and wishing their film makers to win as their best and highest accolade.Before i forget i love tunde kekani’s work and i believe arugba is one of his best works.

oluwatoyin Says:

February 6, 2010 at 10:42 am

hello,my name is toyin Akinrosoye am a scritwritter am i want to lent how to direct a yoruba films,sir help me out



Tk’s Notebook

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

ARUGBA Goes Mobile

Right now, I feel like a recalcitrant, sober, itinerant husband creeping into bed after a long, unexplained absence from the matrimonial home. I cannot explain it and I am not going to try but why is writing sometimes so tedious? I envy writers who have to write with deadline looming all the time. They are nothing short of super humans. However, they continue to be my inspiration and hopefully they will dash me some more to write regularly. One thing for sure is that there is enough to write about as we embark on the special screenings of Arugba, our latest film in fifty seven local government councils and development areas of Lagos State. I can confirm authoritatively that it is a reality. It was flagged-off yesterday 17th February, 2009 with a packed press conference held at the Press Centre of the Lagos State Secretariat. My speech follows.

Ladies and gentlemen of the press, we are gathered here today to flag-off a very important journey, a set of premieres of our latest film Arugba in each local government and development area of Lagos State.

Physical contact with the audience is a filmmakers delight and this opportunity to observe and interact with the audience of Arugba is most appreciated. I must therefore acknowledge the visionary leadership of His Excellency, Governor Babatunde Raji Fasola, the Executive Governor of Lagos State for providing this opportunity to screen the film Arugba in each of the 57 Local Government councils and development areas of Lagos State. By doing so, the Lagos State government is opening up an important communication channel between the government and the governed. This feed-back channel, in accordance with modern approaches to governance will avail government a vital insight into the feelings of the people of Lagos State. Modern approaches to governance puts a lot of emphasis on interactivity as interactivity with the governed ensures inputs from the people in the governance process. True development cannot be achieved without the input of the people, after all, development is fundamentally about people. This set of screenings will surely fulfil this important purpose.

I am delighted to inform you that Arugba has been selected in competition at the approaching Pan African Film and Television Festival FESPACO 2009 holding in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso from 28th February to 7th March, while The Women of Color Arts and Film (WOCAF) Festival in Atlanta, Georgia, USA has already programmed the film to feature at this year’s festival from 19th March to 22nd March, 2009. For me however, it is gratifying that we have this opportunity to show the film to its primary audience before it goes out to the international community.

The Film Arugba is yet another effort to state a case for our language and culture in a fast globalising world. It touches on wide ranging issues such as gender equality, HIV/AIDS, good governance and many other contemporary issues, all within the context of traditional

and contemporary Yoruba culture. The heroine moves smoothly between the two sides of the same culture coin, functioning as the votary maid in the traditional Osun festival yet, a key figure in her secular University. She combines traditional virtues of chastity with modern life skills that enables stand against the distractions of modern living.

Ladies and gentlemen of the press, I invite you to join me in flagging off the screening of Arugba in the 57 Local government councils and special development areas of Lagos State.

Posted by Tunde KELANI at 11:01 AM Labels: Arugba


Iredotp said…

I am excited about the film ‘Arugba’ and just can’t wait to watch the complete movie. I tends towards the cultural(not surprising as I am a reporter on the arts and culture desk)I believe the society will be better if we are able to go back to our cultural values which has been eroded by colonialism and the greed of our current crop of ‘rulers’ who can not speak the truth!

March 18, 2009 7:55 AM

The y river said…

I love this too.

March 18, 2009 8:23 AM

yelebalogun said…

This post has been removed by the author.

April 4, 2009 8:19 AM

yelebalogun said…

I grew up knowing my first interest to be in acting more because Baba Ade-Negro’s Theatre Group were rehearsing close to my family house in Ado-Odo then in late 1970s.

Today, as an experienced screen writer, actor and producer, I featured in “Arugba” as Pastor, I felt on top of the world.

TK’s contribution to Nigerian, African and by extension global film industry is immesurable.

Well done Baba.

You are our pride.

Yele Balogun, the producer of “Aramanda” (The Amazing God), directed by Jare Adeniregun, acted the role of Pastor in “Arugba”.

April 4, 2009 9:41 AM

Bola said…

I am so dying to see this, hopefully we would get the originals here in the states, else i will have to send for it from home.

May 20, 2009 12:28 PM

Adekunle Falae said…

When Is Arugba going to be avaialable

June 7, 2009 2:59 PM

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Blog Archive

▼ 2009 (2)

► July (1)

Ayantunji Amoo Goes Home

▼ February (1)

ARUGBA Goes Mobile

► 2007 (2)

► February (1) To Lapland And Back In Five Days

► January (1) When Reality Overtakes Art

► 2006 (1)

► December (1) Year 2006 – a retrospective…

About Me


Tunde Kelani holds a Diploma in the Art and Technique of Filmmaking from the London International Film School, London. After many years in the Nigerian Film Industry as a Cinematographer, he now manages Mainframe Film & Television Productions, an outfit formed to document Nigeria’s rich culture. Tunde Kelani has worked on most feature films produced in the country in his capacity as a Cinematographer and Director.

View my complete profile


March 20, 2010



Lagos prepares for ‘Black Heritage Festival’
By Emmanuel Oladesu Published 3/02/2010 Life Midweek Magazine Rat

For seven days, Lagos State will host the world in April for the historic ‘Black Heritage Festival. The hosts are the people of Badagry Division, the haven of tourism Fin the state. The communities are full of eagerness. The three councils in the area are cooperating with the state government to ensure a hitch-free festival.

Visitors from across the globe will comb the history of horror that made the town memorable. The lamentation of slaves, who passed the town on their way to plantations in distant Europe and America, would be recalled. The return of their descendants to their roots in April will rekindle their attachment to Africa, the most populous African country and largest supplier of the unwilling slaves, and the beauty of the titanic liberation war that shook the universe.

The visitors are expected to pick works of arts and artifacts that gave content to the culture of their forebears before they went into captivity. Many of them will locate the under-development of the Dark Continent in the centuries of disruptions, cultural dislocations, neo-colonialism and lack of reparations.

Governor Babatunde Fashola(SAN) has enumerated the conditions for the success of the third Lagos Black Heritage Festival, urging the royal fathers and people to tap its abundant tourism and economic opportunities.

His Deputy, Princess Sarah Sosan, who is from the division, asked the towns and villages in the three local government area to prepare for the inflow of tourists and visitors from across the federation and abroad into the area.

The commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Rotimi Agunsoye, who represented the number one and two citizens at a stakeholders meeting in the ancient town, said the visitors who will live, eat and interact with local folks expect a “To have a meaningful festival, our environment should be clean. Many people will come from far and near. Not long ago, we came here to clear the gutters. The governor and deputy governor who I am representing here asked me to tell our royal fathers, chiefs and community leaders to mobilise people and ensure a clean environment,” he told the people at Badagry Town Hall.

The Special Adviser to Governor Fashola on General Matters, Prince Sunny Ajose, who highlighted the elements of the festival, said the division would savour the economic boom and project the cultural heritage of the towns and villages.

He expressed concern for the disposition of the communities to the notion of hygiene.

“In the past, Badagry was neat, from Seme to Ajegunle. Population explosion has led to an unclean environment. Refuse dumping is a challenge. Instead of dumping refuse at Ilewo, we want LAWMA to create another dumping site near the Badagry area,” he said.

Ajose warned that, if the atmosphere is not conducive for the visitors, they would relocate to Ikoyi and Eko Hotel where they will buy souvenirs, thereby making the people to lose their patronage.

Programmes slated for the festival include symposium, painting competitions, cultural performance, traditional dances, and ‘fitila’ procession.

Ajose said no township festival would be allowed to coincide with the Black Heritage Festival. He enjoined townspeople to preoccupy themselves with the removal of shanties in the neighbourhood so that the towns could wear a new look.

“We want to showcase what we have, including our masquerades. We have tools for slave trade in the Heritage Festival Museum. Black writers have works on slave trade. They will also come to talk about the trade and its implications for us. They will like to visit Iyana Gberesu, the terminal exit route for the slave trade. We have Oduduwa shrine in Ilogbo. We should improve on what we have to be able to get what we want. We want to prepare for all these and record success so that there will be an improvement next year,” added Ajose.

The traditional ruler, Aholu Menu Toyi of Badagry, Oba Babatunde Akran, said the festival is the responsibility of all, urging his subjects to cooperate with the government to ensure its success.

He enjoined the authorities to conduct training sessions for the school pupils who may be useful as tour guides to the visitors during the programme.

‘The visitors will be in our markets. They want to see how we are living .They want to take photographs with us. We should be good hosts’, he added.

The Alabarin of Ikaare, Oba Kayode Akinyemi, said the onus is on the council chairmen in the division to rise to the occasion and embrace their roles towards making the festival a success.

Another royal father alerted the government to the danger of inadequate medical facilities in the local governments. He said the hospitals in the area lack ambulance facilities. He also said, since April falls within the raining season, flooding may mar the festival because the drainages are bad.

Agunsoye said the government has taken note of these challenges and all these facilities would be in place before the commencement of the festival.

The festival which brings to memory the historic pains of forceful separation of kindred holds in Lagos State at a time of intense campaign for greater exploration of tourism, one of the most neglected sectors of the economy. In the days of yore, the ancient town which served as a route for ferrying the black slaves to Europe and America was thrown into monumental panic .It took the earlier generations a long time to erase the terrible experience from their memory. However, the incident has also become a blessing to the town.

Nobel Laureate Prof Wole Soyinka visited Badagry early last month for a meeting with the community leaders and elders on the importance of the carnival and modalities for a successful outcome.

At the weekend meeting presided over by Agunsoye, prominent leaders of Badagry Division took their seats with eagerness. They include Oba Moshood Asafa, Onijanikin of Ijanikin; Oba Oyekan Adekanbi, Alapa of Apa; Oba Olanrewaju Aina, Oloto of Oto; Oba Abedeen Durosinmi, Prince Dele Kosoko, Moses Dosu, Amuda Abidu and Joseph Bamgbose.

Agunsoye congratulated the people for hosting the world for the important event, saying that the division is being immortalised by the focus on it.

“Many years ago, many people suffered for our freedom. Some black men died for us to have today. Badagry is one of the famous routes where our forefathers passed to Europe. It was sad. Now, we are happy. History cannot forget Badagry. That is why we want to discuss how to immortalise the ancient times,” the commissioner said.

He said the governor and deputy governor attach much value to the festival because of its implication for the black community in the world.

The commissioner said they acknowledged the fact that an unclean environment would breed disease, adding that sanitary inspectors would be in the towns to ensure compliance with sanitary rules.

“Our black brothers abroad want to come home to mix with us. But they need a clean environment,” he emphasized.

A LAWMA official told the meeting that: “All households must have dustbins. The PSP will do its work, LAWMA will evacuate the refuse. LAWMA sweepers recruited from Badagry will be on the roads. The ‘street captains’ will distribute refuse nylon to households.”

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2 Responses to “Lagos prepares for ‘Black Heritage Festival’”
kazeem balogun at 18 Feb 2010 2:41:58 PM WAT kazeem balogun Rating: Unrated ( Author/Admin)

said this on 18 Feb 2010 2:41:58 PM WAT
its a welcome development,we shall participate
(Reply to this comment)(Cancel this reply)(Comment Replies Disabled)

EKO1CITY at 19 Mar 2010 8:48:40 PM WAT EKO1CITY Rating: Unr

said this on 19 Mar 2010 8:48:40 PM WAT
Ola Jones Lagos Black Heritage…… nice 1,but, so far i cant connect the vision of the group their objectivity pursuit, pro grammes and strategy I a son of the soil by interest in badagry thus am in total cooperation with any social articulate school of mission that set to project badagry historical value.meanwhile here is an overwhelming challenge, so much is been orchestrated in the median while all the node featuresthat makes the history are not preserve,e.g slave route,harboure,artenuation well and the gbelefu point- of- no- return. etc



Home » Events
3rd Annual Lagos Black Heritage Festival 2010
by Ladybrille®Nigeria on March 1, 2010No Comment
3rd Annual Lagos Black Heritage Festival

Place: Badagry Township, Lagos, Badagry

Date: April 4th, 2010

“For over a millennium, African indigenes South of the Sahara have been hunted, bartered, and sold into slavery by European and Arab slavers, often, alas, with the active connivance and participation of Africans themselves. Millions perished even before destination along the Trans-Atlantic route, the Trans-Saharan route, and the Indian Ocean route to Iraq and Persia, now known as Iran.

For centuries, and even till today, many could neither recall nor manifest the slightest interest in their antecedents. By contrast, especially since the latter half of the twentieth century, hundreds of thousands of descendants of the victims of this execrable commerce have embarked on the return journey home – some in search of their true origins, others in the spirit of a symbolic pilgrimage, and yet others to re-claim and re-settle in their ancestral space. Whichever way, for many, this has proved an emotional but fulfilling experience.

It was in fulfillment of this yearning for the healing of dislocated sense of identity that the Lagos State government instituted, with the support of UNESCO, the Black Heritage Festival in the symbolic town of Badagry, one of the more infamous departure points, with surviving landmarks, a Festival that seeks to enshrine the place of Memory in the history of peoples, and to celebrate survival and the resilience of the human will.

The third, 2010 edition of this Festival, appropriately billed as MEMORY AND PERFORMANCE IN THE RETURN TO SOURCE, is planned to raise this awareness to new heights, broaden and deepen the linkage between the African continent and its Diaspora. . .”

Visit Lagos Black Heritage for more info.

You might also like:

Abuja Food Festival 2009
Lagos Carnival 2010 – April 3rd-5th, 2010



Feb 22nd, 2010 | By Ayo Peters | Category: LOCAL GOVERNMENT NEWS, TOURISM DEVELOPMENT
The 17th century will forever remain in the hearts of Africans. This was when its history was taken backwards through a trade that was inimical to its growth – Slave Trade.

The Slave Trade (known as the trans-Atlantic slave trade) started with the exportation of blacks to Europe by Portugal in the 15th century. Other European countries like Spain, Netherlands, Britain, Denmark etc soon followed suit. It was not until the 17th century however that the trade got to North America. It was there that it gained real currency.

Thus, in 1619, a Dutch warship brought the first cargo of twenty blacks to Virginia in the then British colony called New World.
Consequent upon the traffic in blacks, scores of black men and women were separated from their African homes and carried into the New World before the Slave Trade was ended. Although a lot of black men like Olaudah Equiano, Candido da Rocha, Samuel Johnson, Mojola Agbebi and others regained their freedom and found their way back to Nigeria, millions were totally separated from their families.

These Africans were not slaves but were made to work in an environment where they were referred to as slaves. Back in Africa, these men were free and respected farmers and herdsmen, craftsmen skilled in pottery and weaving, wood-carving, and blacksmiths. Some of these Africans brought out of the continent against their will were traders and hunters, musicians and dancers, poets and sculptors. Many were princes and warriors, feudal chiefs, rulers of kingdoms and empires.

These important men of African descent were taken to Europe and the New World through ports marshaled by these European masters. A lot of these slave ports existed in West Africa but some stood out. These were: Goree Island (Senegal), Whydah (Benin Republic), Elmina (Ghana) and Badagry (Nigeria).

The slave port in Badagry was notorious because hordes of Africans were taken through it. Little wonder, this port was dubbed: “Point of no Return.”

One Nigerian who suffered greatly as a result of the slave trade was Gustavus Vassa (Olaudah Equiano). Gustavus Vassa was born in the ancient Benin Kingdom in 1745. He was kidnapped from his family and sold into slavery. He was later sold again to traders and chained on a slave ship bound for America. He passed on to a Virginia planter, and then, to a British naval officer, and finally to a Philadelphia merchant who gave him the chance to buy his freedom. In his autobiography, ‘The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa the African,’ he narrated some of the ordeals he and his fellow African brothers went through on shore to the New World. For instance, a black man was flogged while on deck so unmercifully with a large rope that he died in consequence of it. Olaudah wrote that some of his countrymen were chained together and when they were weary, preferred death to such a life of misery and somehow, “made through the nettings and jumped into sea.”

The narrative by Gustavus Vassa was a fraction of the hardships blacks were made to undergo in the New World and in Europe. Many blacks died as a result of this hardship. Slaves like Nat Turner and John Brown who revolted were murdered in cold blood while one of the most brilliant Americans of the nineteenth century who started his life as a slave on a Maryland plantation, Frederick Douglas, in his autobiography asked: “Why am I a slave? Why are some people slaves and others masters? How did the relation commence? He wrote that he didn’t know he was a slave until he found out he couldn’t do the things he wanted.

Indeed, not having anything to say about the use of your own time and labour is probably what makes you feel bad. This is the absence of freedom. As providence would have it, that is all gone; total history.

Slavery and slave trade have been abolished after series of protests here and there and the great grandsons of former slaves have now become free men in Europe, Caribbean, and North America. These men after careful study, based on the ‘reign of terror’ of the slave port in Badagry, have decided to remember their roots, history, culture, and land of their forebears by celebrating the Lagos Black Heritage Festival.

Logically, Badagry is the preferred host as it is poised to hoist the Third Lagos Black Heritage Festival starting from the 3rd of April, this year.

Badagry, it will be recalled, was the departure route of these ‘slaves’. Once they got to Badagry, they were certain they would not return to their homes.

Today, Badagry still retains a lot of slavery artifacts. This includes one of the largest slave markets – Vlekete slave market – in West Africa. Here, slaves were sold at competitive prices. Hence, most countries that traded in slaves had their forts in Badagry. This included Portugal, Britain, Spain, Brazil, France and the Netherlands.

The Mobee slave relic is another of the artifacts that survived the infamous trade. It is housed by the Mobee family. We also have the Seriki Abbas compound, the Egbado-born businessman, who settled in Badagry and partook greatly of the obnoxious business.

In truth, the Lagos Black Heritage Festival has come to stay. This feat was achieved by the Lagos state government and the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). According to Emeritus Professor, Wole Soyinka, the third edition of the Black Heritage Festival “seeks to enshrine the place of memory in the history of peoples, and to celebrate survival and the resilience of the human will.”

The third edition, which starts on April 3rd, this year, is tagged: Memory and Performance in the Return to Source, has been planned to broaden and deepen the linkage between the African continent and its Diaspora. In the words of Soyinka, “this will be effected through a focus on the lives and works of three eminent representatives of, and close collaborators in this racial mission… pan-Africanist and cultural activist, Aime Cesaire; prime mover of the Journal Presence Africaine, and the publishing house of that name, Alioune Diop; and statesman, Leopold Sedar Senghor.”

Badagry local government is leaving no stone unturned towards ensuring that Badagry had a hitch-free festival. Accordingly, the local government has ensured its cleaning every day.

Most residents of Badagry are eager to see the D-day. Hon. Husitode Moses Dosu, the executive chairman of Badagry local government says the “Lagos Black Heritage Festival connotes a return to the source.”

Activities lined up for the festival includes a symposium, feature films, documentaries, a book exhibition, contemporary art, theatre, concerts, traditional and modern dances, a boat regatta, a Children’s Heritage Village and African tradition games.
We await this reconnection, revaluation, and revindication.

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Tags: a boat regatta, a Children’s Heritage Village, African tradition games, Alioune Diop prime mover of the Journal Presence Africaine, Badagry Local Government, Badagry Nigeria, book exhibition, Brazil, Britain, Candido da Rocha, concerts, contemporary art, documentaries, Elmina Ghana, Emeritus Professor Wole Soyinka, feature films, France, Frederick Douglas autobiography, Goree Island Senegal, Hon. Husitode Moses Dosu, John Brown, Lagos Black Heritage Festival, Lagos state government, Leopold Sedar Senghor, Memory and Performance in the Return to Source, Mobee slave relic, Mojola Agbebi, Nat Turner, Netherlands, Olaudah Equiano Gustavus Vassa autobiography, pan-Africanist and cultural activist Aime Cesaire, Point of no Return, Portugal, Samuel Johnson, Seriki Abbas, Spain, symposium, theatre, traditional and modern dances, United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Vlekete slave market, Whydah Benin Republic
One comment
Leave a comment »
uzoh hilary March 5th, 2010 9:21 pm :

as a fashion designer and loving arts i like to participate in the black heritage festival. so please can you detail me on the event. thank you.

from travelintelligence .com

The Badagry Route by Pelu Awofeso
Anyone can understand why callers to the slave ports at Elmina (Ghana), Goree (Senegal) and Ouidah (Benin) weep and wail after they have walked round the remains of the transatlantic slave trade in those regions. To even see images on the screen is enough to affect the senses sorely. The Black Heritage Museum—just opened to tourists in palm-and-coconut-rich Badagry, western Lagos—is another of the kind. Maybe the place won’t stir you to tears, but after going in and out, then up and down its nine galleries, it is certain to make any visitor sober.

The National Commission for Museums and Monuments (NCMM) in Nigeria, which helped with the research and installation, displays sketches, sculptures, photos, documents and dated shackles to tell the touching tale of over 300 years of ‘trading’ of which the African people were the ‘goods’.

We are now inside the building and this ad published in 1784 in the U.S. stares me in the face: “NEGROS FOR SALE: a cargo of very fine stout men and women, in good order and fit for immediate service, just imported from the windward coast of Africa…” Another in New Orleans, this time in 1835 described its ‘ware’ in detail: Chole…aged 36 years. She is without exception, one of the most competent servants in the country, a first-rate washer and ironer, does up lace, a good cook, and for a bachelor who wishes a housekeeper she would be invaluable. She is also a good ladies maid, having travelled to the north in that capacity.”

One learns a typical slave’s safari goes something like this: A freeborn is kidnapped, captured at war or despatched to a creditor to offset a debt. He is kept in custody and made to do simple menial duties at first. A time comes when a white businessman, sailing across from the west, seeks out the community’s head and demands for people to serve him and his wealthy colleagues back on their own soil. He proffers gins, guns and some other processed goods in exchange.

The deal sounds sensible enough and both parties come to an agreement. So starts the tortuous trip of an unfortunate African, the fall guy of unfeeling men (much later, markets were established to service the rising need for cheap human labour). He never travels alone; there are thousands of them at any occasion, group-chained, flogged to submission and silence, and ‘arranged’ in ships in patterns that guarantee little breathing space and more anguish. Not all of them survived. The dead were tossed overboard.

Sons and daughters, too, no matter how underaged, were hauled across the Atlantic from the African coast to the New World. The survivors were later put on kegs and boxes and auctioned like articles at Sotheby’s. Once sold, they toiled on the cotton, sugarcane or rice fields of their white masters—and it was almost round the clock—with the cruellest of punishments administered to those who attempted to bail (one exhibit shows a dog, purposely trained, biting at the throat of one). Others worked as domestic hands. There is more inside what used to be the District Officer’s administrative block in the colonial years and is a three-minute stroll from the white structure earmarked as the first storey building in Nigeria.

The opening of the museum in August 2002 put the inhabitants in the mood for the second Black Heritage Festival, said to be styled after Ghana’s decade-old Pan-African Historical Theatre Festival (PANAFEST) and organised to conform to UNESCO’s ‘Slave Routes Project’. Lagos State Waterfront and Tourism Development Corporation, the planners, intends for the festival with time to pep up the tourism receipts of Nigeria’s most commercialised city; for the time being, though, it is finding a sure footing and winning more participants from the Diaspora each year that are the goals.

Day four of the festival was all traditional stuff: The dozen delegates, all of them living in the U.S., had to go through a ceremony of ‘ethnic adoption and traditional robbing’ to choose the local names they wished to bear henceforth. Two home priests in the full glare of the town’s royal head, the Akran of Badagry, conducted that. The idea is not for the new names to replace the initial, but for the recipient to either add them on or to “keep it close to my heart”. The naming was performed with honey, sugarcane, salt, kola, and the other regulars in day-to-day Yoruba naming rites.

The Yoruba in Nigeria look to the Ifa for the same reasons Christians and Moslems search through the Holy Books. No move is made without consulting it. It gave its consent to the names the home comers preferred. At different times during the festival, the kola nut and bitter kola were tossed in another form of customary inquest. Each result turned out a pleasant omen: The land of Badagry agreed with the coming of Mayor Hawkins and co.

Badagry today is a smiling and struggling population of close to two hundred thousand. The Atlantic Ocean, its bane for centuries, flows subtly and quietly; the breeze still blows over it-and onto the mainland, and one can still sight natives paddling away in their canoes in the distance. The one thing it needs now is a rise in stature. The New Nigerians may well make that happen, because already, the group has promised to revisit its scholarship promise to the community’s bright minds; the other project will be to erect another impressive monument to the slave trade a la the ‘Point of no Return’.

The Akran, on behalf of the people, has promised pieces of land to the new natives, because they need, he says, to have their own homes—one they can come to whenever they please.
See all travel writing by Pelu Awofeso.



Council mobilises for Lagos Black Heritage Festival

February 16, 2010 10:38PM
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The Oto/Awori Local Council Development Area says it will mobilise the people to showcase their rich culture at the forthcoming 3rd Lagos Black Heritage Cultural Festival scheduled for April 3- 9.

The festival themed, “Lagos/Badagry 2010”, is aimed at celebrating the creativity of Lagos State in dance, music and theatre regatta.

The Council Chairman, Bolaji Kayode, told News Agency of Nigeria in Badagry on Tuesday that the Council’s contingent had been fully prepared for the festival.

“Our participation in the festival is part of Oto/Awori LCDA’s commitment to promoting arts and culture. We will mobilise our people to feature in the festival particularly in Gelede and Ajegbo events,” he said.

Mr. Kayode expressed the hope that the council’s contingent would lift the laurels in the two events.

The organisers said the festival would be a forum for showcasing Africa’s diverse cultural heritage. The maiden edition of the festival was held in 2001 and was declared open by the former governor of the state, Bola Tinubu.



Lagos Black Heritage: A festival of reconnection, revaluation
By Mudiaga Affe, Published: Friday, 19 Mar 2010

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka

Inspired by the spirit of convergence for which the most populous state in Nigeria remains pre-eminent, Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has said that the forthcoming Lagos Black Heritage Festival would be an event of reconnection, revaluation and re-vindication.

Speaking on the festival tagged, Memory and Performance in the return to Source, Soyinka said, in a statement obtained by our correspondent in Lagos, that the event would celebrate the creativity of Lagos within a ”Carnivalesque of tradition and contemporary dance.”

The LBHF, which holds between April 3 and 9, 2010, is an initiative of the Lagos State Government.

According to Soyinka, the LBHF is a seven-day cultural manifestation during which hundreds of performers will animate the ancient city of Badagry and cosmopolitan Lagos in a blend of the traditional and the modern.

On the theme of the festival, Soyinka, who is the Festival Coordinator, explained that for over a millennium, African indigenes South of the Sahara were hunted, bartered, and sold into slavery by European and Arab slavers often with the active connivance of Africans themselves.

”Millions perish even before their destination along the Trans-Atlantic route and the Indian Ocean route to Iraq and Persia, now known as Iran. For centuries, and even till date, many could neither recall nor manifest the slightest interest in their antecedents.

”By contrast, especially since the latter half of the twentieth century, hundreds of thousands of descendants of victims of this execrable commerce have embarked on the return journey home – some in search of their true origins, others in the spirit of symbolic pilgrimage, and yet others to reclaim and resettle in their ancestral space. Whichever way, for many, this has proved emotional, but with fulfilling experience,” he said.

He said that it was in fulfillment of this yearning for the healing of dislocated sense of identity that the Lagos State Government instituted, with the support of the United Nations‘ Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, the Black Heritage Festival in the symbolic town of Badagry.

The playwright said the Lagos State Government plans to serve the discerning palates from within the country, the continent and the Diaspora of the Caribbean and Americas.

One of the highlights of the Lagos-Badagry 2010 is a painting competition featuring artists drawn from Nigeria and the rest of the world.

An international jury will decide which of the 25 finalists will be rewarded in the Gold, Silver and Bronze categories which go with the award of $20,000, $15,000 and $10,000 respectively.

Comments :

Lagos Black Heritage…… nice 1, but, so far i cant connect the vision of the group their objectivity pursuit, pro grammes and strategy I a son of the soil by interest in badagry thus am in total cooperation with any social articulate school of mission that set to project badagry historical value. meanwhile here is overwhelming challenge, so much is been orchestrated in the median meanwhile all the node features that makes the history are not preserve,e.g slave route,harboure,artenuation

Posted by: eko1city , on Friday, March 19, 2010

Report this comment

The slogan makes no sense to me. What is Lagos black heritage? I’ll rather call it ’Lagos reborn of African Heritage’. It makes more sense and gives me something to look forward to. I do not want to use the slogan of racisim, because that is the way they will call it in a land where there are other colours.

Posted by: Enitan Onikoyi , on Friday, March 19, 2010




Welcome to the Official Website of the 3rd Lagos Black Heritage Festival!
For over a millennium, African indigenes South of the Sahara have been hunted, bartered, and sold into slavery by European and Arab slavers, often, alas, with the active connivance and participation of Africans themselves. Millions perished even before destination along the Trans-Atlantic route, the Trans-Saharan route, and the Indian Ocean route to Iraq and Persia, now known as Iran…
More >>

The First Edition of Caterina de’ Medici Painting Award took place in Florence in year 2002. Three Nigerian Artists participated. One of these artists, Olubunmi Ogundare emerged as one of the best ten of the world-wide competitors!
More >>

Présence Africaine

Présence africaine is a panafrican quarterly cultural, political, and literary revue, published in Paris and founded by Alioune Diop in 1947. In 1949, Présence africaine expanded to include a publishing house and a bookstore on the rue des Écoles in the Latin Quarter of Paris. As a journal, it was highly influential in the Panafricanist movement, the decolonisation struggle of former French colonies, and the birth of the Négritude movement.
More >>

The Black Orpheus


For over a millennium, African indigenes South of the Sahara have been hunted, bartered, and sold into slavery by European and Arab slavers, often, alas, with the active connivance and participation of Africans themselves. Millions perished even before destination along the Trans-Atlantic route, the Trans-Saharan route, and the Indian Ocean route to Iraq and Persia, now known as Iran.

For centuries, and even till today, many could neither recall nor manifest the slightest interest in their antecedents. By contrast, especially since the latter half of the twentieth century, hundreds of thousands of descendants of the victims of this execrable commerce have embarked on the return journey home – some in search of their true origins, others in the spirit of a symbolic pilgrimage, and yet others to re-claim and re-settle in their ancestral space. Whichever way, for many, this has proved an emotional but fulfilling experience.

It was in fulfillment of this yearning for the healing of dislocated sense of identity that the Lagos State government instituted, with the support of UNESCO, the Black Heritage Festival in the symbolic town of Badagry, one of the more infamous departure points, with surviving landmarks, a Festival that seeks to enshrine the place of Memory in the history of peoples, and to celebrate survival and the resilience of the human will.

The third, 2010 edition of this Festival, appropriately billed as MEMORY AND PERFORMANCE IN THE RETURN TO SOURCE, is planned to raise this awareness to new heights, broaden and deepen the linkage between the African continent and its Diaspora.

This will be effected through a focus on the lives and works of three eminent representatives of, and close collaborators in this racial mission, all three now ancestral figures: the Martiniquan poet, dramatist, pan-Africanist and cultural activist, Aime Cesaire; prime mover of the journal Presence Africaine, and the publishing house of that name, Alioune Diop (whose centennial anniversary comes up in the year 2010, and the poet, essayist, and statesman Leopold Sedar Senghor. With this emphasis, a further step is taken to diminish the fragmentations in a common race heritage that were created through colonization under competing European cultures on African soil.

The three ancestors led a closely intertwined career. Cesaire, it will be recalled, was a principal midwife, in company of Leopold Sedar Senghor and others, of the philosophy of Negritude, the Beingness of Black. In addition to the performance of Cesaire’s plays and readings from his poetry, rare archival material from Alioune Diop’s pioneering journal, Presence Africaine, of which Aime Cesaire was also past president, will be placed on exhibition for the first time in this country. At the same time, Lagos State pays tribute also to the late President Leopold Sedar Senghor who was the inspiration and spearhead of the first ever international Negro Arts Festival (1966), the second edition of which the late Alioune Diop, served as Secretary-General and principal organizer. That second edition was called the Black and African Arts Festival, 1977, better known as FESTAC.

Buffered by a symposium, films, documentaries, a book exhibition, a gallery of contemporary art, music, theatre, concerts, traditional and contemporary dances, a boat regatta, a Children’s Heritage Village and African traditional games, not omitting from the Nigerian Film industry, this promises to be THE cultural event to round off the first decade of the millennium. The City of a Thousand Masks – Lagos – will herself be a player in the events, since the Festival programme will feature a unique competition – in association with the Caterina de’ Medici Foundation – where artists of African descent will vie for the ultimate laurel with their painterly impression on the theme CITY OF A THOUSAND MASKS, a contest that will be held before a live audience.

To sum up, a Festival of RECONNECTION, REVALUATION, REVINDICATION – this is the feast that Lagos State plans to serve up to discerning palates from within the country, the continent, and the Diaspora of the Caribbean and the Americas.


The Activities for the 3rd Lagos Black Heritage Festival include:


(Collaboration with Catarina de Medici).


This segment will feature 3 plays:

– King Christophe
– A Season in the Congo
– Ireke Onibudo

Children’s play




The Musical segment of the LBHF celebrates the indigenous Music and Culture of Lagos, Nigeria and the Black World. The segment encompasses every style associated with the city of Lagos. A wide scope indeed as Lagos State represents Nigeria and essentially the Black World.

From Traditional music to Contemporary – Juju to Afro Caribbean.
Ayo Bankole

Steve Rhodes Voices


Seun Kuti

Fatai Rolling Dollar (Guest Appearance).

Tunji Oyelana – Guest Artist.

(Kwam1 / Obesere/ Pasuma )
(Musiliu Isola / Apala-Porto-Novo)
(D Banj, 9ice)
Agidigbo (Eko)

Gbedu Oba (Eko)


(to be directed by Jimi Solanke).


– Contemporary Dance

– ATUNDA Dance


Ajogan (Badagry King’s Procession).

Vodun (Badagry)

Sato (Badagry)

Bolojo (Badagry/Ijio/Eko)

Obitun (Ile-Oluji/Ondo)

Bata (Lagos/Oyo)

Dundun (Lagos/Oyo)

Ijo Apeja (Epe)

Nyok (Calabar)

Ekombi (Calabar)

Sokorowo (Owo-all female troupe)

Fitila Procession
The sombre Remembrance procession.
Nasarawa Contingent

Zangbeto (Badagry)

Gelede (Badagry)

Eyo (Eko)

Ekpe (Akwa-Ibom)

Igunnuko (Eko)



-> Roots

-> Amazing Grace











Crafts Artisans from the Lagos region of Nigeria and from around the world converge at Festival Crafts zone to demonstrate and sell their works. It is held at various locations around Badagry, Lagos and other selected locations around Lagos State.

Display Hours are 10am to 9pm.


The Lagos Black Heritage Festival Symposium creates a forum of Intellectual discourse of themes related to black history, heritage and the relevance of memory to contemporary concerns.


(a). Presence Africaine – Books Exhibition.

(b). Slavery Objects


Wole Soyinka

For over a millennium, African indigenes South of the Sahara have been hunted, bartered, and sold into slavery by European and Arab slavers, often, alas, with the active connivance and participation of Africans themselves. Millions perished even before destination along the Trans-Atlantic route, the Trans-Saharan route, and the Indian Ocean route to Iraq and Persia, now known as Iran. For centuries, and even till today, many could neither recall nor manifest the slightest interest in their antecedents. By contrast, especially since the latter half of the twentieth century, hundreds of thousands of descendants of the victims of this execrable commerce have embarked on the return journey home – some in search of their true origins, others in the spirit of a symbolic pilgrimage, and yet others to re-claim and re-settle in their ancestral space. Whichever way, for many, this has proved an emotional but fulfilling experience.

It was in fulfillment of this yearning for the healing of dislocated sense of identity that the Lagos State government instituted, with the support of UNESCO, the Black Heritage Festival in the symbolic town of Badagry, one of the more infamous departure points, with surviving landmarks, a Festival that seeks to enshrine the place of Memory in the history of peoples, and to celebrate survival and the resilience of the human will. The third, 2010 edition of this Festival, appropriately billed as MEMORY AND PERFORMANCE IN THE RETURN TO SOURCE, is planned to raise this awareness to new heights, broaden and deepen the linkage between the African continent and its Diaspora. This will be effected through a focus on the lives and works of three eminent representatives of, and close collaborators in this racial mission, all three now ancestral figures: the Martiniquan poet, dramatist, pan-Africanist and cultural activist, Aime Cesaire; prime mover of the journal Presence Africaine, and the publishing house of that name, Alioune Diop (whose centennial anniversary comes up in the year 2010, and the poet, essayist, and statesman Leopold Sedar Senghor. With this emphasis, a further step is taken to diminish the fragmentations in a common race heritage that were created through colonization under competing European cultures on African soil.

The three ancestors led a closely intertwined career. Cesaire, it will be recalled, was a principal midwife, in company of Leopold Sedar Senghor and others, of the philosophy of Negritude, the Beingness of Black. In addition to the performance of Cesaire’s plays and readings from his poetry, rare archival material from Alioune Diop’s pioneering journal, Presence Africaine, of which Aime Cesaire was also past president, will be placed on exhibition for the first time in this country. At the same time, Lagos State pays tribute also to the late President Leopold Sedar Senghor who was the inspiration and spearhead of the first ever internastional Negro Arts Festival (1966), the second edition of which the late Alioune Diop, served as Secretary-General and principal organizer. That second edition was called the Black and African Arts Festival, 1977, better known as FESTAC.

Buffered by a symposium, films, documentaries, a book exhibition, a gallery of contemporary art, music, theatre, concerts, traditional and contemporary dances, a boat regatta, a Children’s Heritage Village and African traditional games, not omitting from the Nigerian Film industry, this promises to be THE cultural event to round off the first decade of the millennium. The City of a Thousand Masks – Lagos – will herself be a player in the events, since the Festival programme will feature a unique competition – in association with the Caterina de Medici Foundation – where artists of African descent will vie for the ultimate laurel with their painterly impression on the theme CITY OF A THOUSAND MASKS, a contest that will be held before a live audience.

To sum up, a Festival of RECONNECTION, REVALUATION, REVINDICATION – this is the feast that Lagos State plans to serve up to discerning palates from within the country, the continent, and the Diaspora of the Caribbean and the Americas.

Wole Soyinka
Emeritus Professor in Literature
Obafemi Awolowo University
Nobel Laurette in Literature 1986



February 15, 2010



Daily Independent (Lagos)

Nigeria: Enforcing Indigenous Languages in Homes
Yemi Adebisi
14 February 2010

Lagos — The National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), a parastatal of the Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation appears to be set to encourage the use of indigenous languages in Nigerian homes.

The institute also frowns at the mode of dressing of most Nigerian children, which it described as ‘near nudity,’ blaming this on the nonchalant attitude of Nigerian parents and the lack of respect for Nigerian culture. It has therefore assured that it would use its medium to address the total emancipation of Nigerian cultural details and encourage its proliferation. This would, according to the institute, help to market the value of Nigerian culture, home and abroad, when the essence and awareness of the culture is encouraged.

Apparently, the recent visit of the executive secretary/chief executive officer of NICO, Dr. Barclays F. Ayakoroma to Lagos office was primarily designed by the institute to gear up arrangement to start off the new academic session of its cultural institute. It was during the visit that Ayakoroma, in his chat with the media, unveiled plans to take Nigeria culture to all the nooks and crannies of the country and to ensure that it yields positive results than ever. NICO was established by Decree 93 of 1993.

The Institute has the primary responsibility of harnessing Nigeria’s cultural resources to meet the challenges of social integration, peace, unity and national development. It also serves as vital force for promoting Nigeria’s programme of Cultural Diplomacy and energising the various cultural establishments in the new direction advocated by Nigeria’s Cultural Policy and the World Decade for Cultural Development (1988-1997) declared by the United Nations.

NICO has a vision to be the apex and leading Cultural Training Institute in Nigeria and Nigeria’s contribution to world progress and civilisation through research and documentation, cultural assets and services, both tangible and intangible.

NICO is also committed to train cultural development officers, motivators and communicators who would be grounded in Nigerian cultural realities, philosophy and practices that are essential for national integration, peace, unity and development in a multi-ethnic nation.

It would be recalled that the institute has presented for graduation, the first set of students in the Certificate, Graduate and Diploma in Cultural Studies. By November 2009, registration processes started for the second set. Ayakoroma visited Lagos to ensure the successful take off of the new academic session. According to him, he was satisfied with the current academic programme and expressed hope that sooner, the training school will be in its rightful place in the culture sector. The vision of NICO is to run a school that will produce graduands that will occupy strategic position in various cultural institutions.

“Just like the Federal Training School trains clerical officers all over the country, ASCON trains administrative officers, and NIPS trains top government officers in the civil service and the military, we are positioning ourselves to train cultural workers at the middle and top level of cultural administration,” he said.

The secretary observed that NICO would only gain its relevance in the scheme of things when it comes out with some programmes that will impact the lives of the generality of the people. At the national level, according to him, there are programmes lined up, but specifically, the indigenous language programme appears to be a strategic option. With the notion that many Nigerians are not intact, language wise and that most of Nigerian children find it difficult speaking indigenous language, because of inter-tribal marriages and so on, NICO has developed a programme that will encourage the speaking of the indigenous languages.

“If these children are given the opportunity to learn indigenous languages, they approach them with every sense of commitment. This programme has gained ground to some extent. In the last long vacation of Nigerian primary and secondary schools, the programme took place in the six zonal offices of NICO.”

The institute has set up an agenda to introduce a programme entitled ‘Language in the Barracks’ to support its vision to immortalize indigenous languages. This is with the intention of taking indigenous language training scheme to police and military barracks. It was discovered, however, that among some military or police families, the wives might be Yoruba while the husbands, Igbo. It boils down on the challenge of the particular language that the children will be disposed to speak. NICO therefore believes that with this programme, parents as well as children will have the opportunity to learn those languages. The institute has also concluded plans, according to the executive secretary, to start a television programme called ‘WAZOBIA Quiz’. They are looking at a scenario whereby the parents and their children come for a quiz programme based on culture such as ‘Nigerian People and Places’. Such segment will be in the three Nigeria major languages.

“If the father is speaking Yoruba and Hausa for example, and the wife is Igbo, we expect that one of the children that will appear with you for the programme will also speak one of the languages. We believe it will be an interesting programme and it will enhance or energise the study or interest of Nigerian languages,” he said. This, to an extent, might help improve the readiness of Nigerian families to cherish the more the indigenous languages. NICO declared its intention to encourage the speaking of indigenous languages at homes and offices in Nigeria and not having English as lingua franca in respected homes. Other roundtable programme of the institute include annual roundtable conference, workshop on ‘Repositioning Cultural Workers for Improved Productivity’, World Culture Day celebration in May among others. The secretary also intimidated the media about the plan of the institute to start cultural club in secondary schools. This will be taking to secondary schools to catch the young ones culturally, like the debating and literary societies. The intention of the institute is for the children to appreciate every area of Nigerian culture, be it music or dressing.

He expressed his disappointment on how Nigerian parents are showing lackadaisical attitude to the dressing mode of most Nigerian children. According to him, some of these children go on the street almost in nudity. “It is very worrisome. The jeans, T-shirts, and the type of short sketches that our children wear in the name of fashion are really worrisome. That is why we are also looking at organising a programme called ‘Nigeria’s Dress Culture’. We want to look at aspect of dress culture.”

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Some Nigerian universities have been observed to institutionalised dress codes. Ayakoroma therefore appealed that such institutions should be encouraged, because if the students are allowed to dress the way they want, “very soon we will begin to see nude boys and girls on our streets in the name of fashion.”

NICO has vowed to step up actions on the creation of awareness on the essence and importance of culture in Nigeria. Culture, according to him, is what makes a man. He therefore warned that with the level of richness of Nigerian culture, it would be very unfortunate if Nigerian parents failed to carry their children along and sell them to the western world in the name of civilisation.

He also significantly pointed out that for Nigeria to move forward, there is a need for Nigerians to cooperate with the institute to appraise the level of corruption in Nigeria from cultural point of view.


February 1, 2010



Behold Nigerian virgin!

* By Taiwo Abiodun

Virgins during the testing programme

Girls proud to be virgins confidently offered themselves for tests at Ekemode Memorial Hospital and Women’s Infirmary, Surulere, Lagos as the Nigeria virgins celebration organised by Princess Adunni Adediran marked its third anniversary. The virginity tests were done by Dr Ade Ekemode, an experienced gynaecologist and involved 45 young women from across the country.

Three years ago, Adediran launched her campaign to help Nigerian girls keep their virginity and avoid unwanted pregnancies, diseases such as HIV/AIDS, syphilis, barrenness and broken homes. Above all, she wanted them to be chaste, protect their virginity for their husbands, to honour and give them respect.”

According to her: “Women and innocent girls are always on the receiving end.The girls are lured into prostitution, put in the family way and made barren as a result of infection or induced dangerous abortion that could affect their future; while during the burial of the men or the so called husband the wife would be surprised when the children her husband had out of wedlock come to attend the burial service. We have seen many.”

Giving reasons why young girls should keep their virginity, the princess said “charity begins at home, my daughter who is now a practising lawyer is still a virgin. I have to practise what I preach and I am proud that our girls are beginning to understand what we are saying ‘’.

Dr Ekemode praised the girls for keeping their virginity, and advised them to keep it till their wedding day. “In Nigeria now we are proud to still have some of our young girls who believe in chastity. Pre spent 41years in the profession and I am proud that we still have some of our children that are decent.”

Love David (22), from Okokomaiko, Lagos, said she came to do the test to prove to the world that she is clean and would not have sex until her wedding day. “I will keep my virginity until I meet the man who is ready to pay my bride price,’’ she asserted.

Augusta Aishen from Delta state said she is a student of River State University where she is studying computer science. She heard the news of the virginity test over the radio. “My mother is a cosmetologist and my father is an engineer, they trained me not to destroy or spoil my life because of any boy or man. I am happy that my parents trust me and they even paid my fare to come to Lagos for the test,” she told The Nation.

Akada Ikada (22), a mass communication student, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ogun State, described the medical test as the best way to prove virginity “I will keep my virginity until I am ripe enough to marry,” she said, adding that she wasn’t ashamed of being a virgin.

Awawu Ismail, a devout Muslim who was dressed in a hijab, said, Islam respects chastity. “Islam respects virginity and we have to keep ourselves until the day we are going to get married. I am proud to say that I am a virgin.

Others who came for the test include; Olawumi Opelola from Oyo state,Ajayi Oluwabukola, Oluwatoyin Vincent, Suliat Suberu, Islamyat Yisa,Mukoro Juliet, Ibirogba Ololade, Blessing Paul, , Mariam Bello.

Hajiya Basirat Yusuf said the virginity test was not painful. “They will only ask you to remove your undies and the doctor would check to confirm one’s virginity and that is all’’ she said.

Some mothers who came to witness the occasion were happy to see their daughters participating in the programme. Madam Muyidat Bello, (mother of Mariam) said it was a great programme the government at the local, and state levels should contribute to. Madam Bello said when she heard over the radio that there would be a virginity test, her daughter, Muyidat beat her chest that she is a virgin and she came with her to ascertain the truth. “When the doctor confirmed her virginity, I was happy and I love my daughter the more. She is brilliant and it is because there is no money for her university education that she has not gone to school; yet she did not go into prostitution because of our poverty level.”

Adediran who started the programme said, “They called me many names, some said I wanted to use the girls’ virginity for ritual to make money while some said I wanted to be a trafficker. I received nasty, abusive text messages but in the end most of the parents appreciated what I am doing.”

Now that her programme is gaining credibility, she wants support from government. “I want the state and local government to be involved and assist my programme for it is the first time such thing would be organised,” she said. “I am using my own money to finance the programme as many of the girls who wanted to participate had no money and I paid their transportation fare this year. I want private organizations to support us. I have been ejected from the office I was using before and I need an office’’ the woman stated.

Virgins during the testing programme



December 29, 2009


Attempt to blow up airliner foiled
ROMULUS, Mich. – A Nigerian man who said he was an agent for al-Qaida tried to blow up a Northwest Airlines plane Friday as it was preparing to land in Detroit, but travelers who smelled smoke and heard what sounded like firecrackers rushed to subdue him, the passengers and federal officials said.

Flight 253 with 278 passengers and 11 crew members aboard was about 20 minutes from the airport when passengers heard popping noises, witnesses said. At least one person climbed over others and jumped on the man. Shortly afterward, the suspect was taken to the front of the plane with his pants cut off and his legs burned, a passenger said. Law enforcement officials said the burns indicated the explosive was strapped to his legs.

One U.S. intelligence official said the explosive device was a mix of powder and liquid. It failed when the passenger tried to detonate it.

“It sounded like a firecracker in a pillowcase,” said Peter Smith, a traveler from the Netherlands. “First there was a pop, and then (there) was smoke.”

Smith said a passenger sitting opposite the man climbed over people, went across the aisle and tried to restrain the man. Syed Jafri, another passenger, said he saw a glow and smelled smoke. Then, he said, “a young man behind me jumped on him.”

“Next thing you know, there was a lot of panic,” said Jafri. Smith said the heroic passenger appeared to have been burned.

The White House said it believed it was an attempted act of terrorism and stricter security measures were quickly imposed on airline travel. It did not specify what those were.

The incident was reminiscent of Richard Reid, who tried to destroy a trans-Atlantic flight in 2001 with explosives hidden in his shoes, but was subdued by other passengers. Reid is serving a life sentence.

Law enforcement officials identified the suspect in Friday’s attempted attack as Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab. One law enforcement official said the man claimed to have been instructed by al-Qaida to detonate the plane over U.S. soil, but other law enforcement officials cautioned that such claims could not be verified immediately, and said the man may have been acting independently — inspired but not specifically trained or ordered by terror groups.

All the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was continuing.

Another law enforcement official, also speaking on condition of anonymity in order to discuss the case, said Mutallab’s name had surfaced earlier on at least one U.S. intelligence database, but not to the extent that he was placed on a watch list or a no-fly list.

Mutallab was being questioned Friday evening. An intelligence official said the Nigerian passenger was being held and treated in an Ann Arbor, Mich., hospital. One passenger was taken to the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor, hospital spokeswoman Tracy Justice said. She referred all inquiries to the FBI.

The trauma burn center at the hospital said it did not have Abdul Mutallab in its unit.

Flight 253 began in Nigeria and went through Amsterdam en route to Detroit, said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., the ranking GOP member of the House Homeland Security Committee.

A spokeswoman for police at the Schiphol airport in Amsterdam declined comment about the case or about security procedures at the airport for Flight 253. Schiphol airport, one of Europe’s busiest with a heavy load of transit passengers from Africa and Asia to North America, strictly enforces European security regulations including only allowing small amounts of liquid in hand luggage that must be placed inside clear plastic bags.

A spokesman for the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Akin Olunkunle, said all passengers and their luggage are screened before boarding international flights. He also said the airport in Lagos cleared a U.S. Transportation Security Administration audit in November.

“We had a pass mark,” spokesman Akin Olukunle said. “We actually are up to standards in all senses.”

There was nothing out of the ordinary about the flight until it was on final approach to Detroit, said Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory. That is when the pilot declared an emergency, she said. The flight landed at 12:01 p.m. EST, she said.

Delta Air Lines Inc., which bought Northwest last year, said that “upon approach to Detroit, a passenger caused a disturbance.” It said the passenger was subdued immediately and the crew asked that law enforcement officials meet the flight.

“The passenger was taken into custody and questioned by law enforcement authorities,” the airline said.

According to the airline, eight flight attendants and three pilots were on board.

Smith said while he was leaving the plane, he looked at where the man had been sitting and saw a pillow that seemed to have been burned. Melinda Dennis, who was seated in the front row of the plane, said the man involved was brought to the front row and seated near her. She said his legs appeared to be badly burned and his pants were cut off. She said he was taken off the plane handcuffed to a stretcher.

President Barack Obama was notified of the incident and discussed it with security officials, the White House said. It said he is monitoring the situation and receiving regular updates from his vacation spot in Hawaii.

Federal officials said there would be heightened security for both domestic and international flights at airports across the country, but the intensified levels would likely be “layered,” differing from location to location depending on alerts, security concerns and other factors.

Passengers can expect to see heightened screening, more bomb-sniffing dog and officer units and behavioral-detection specialists at some airports, but there will also be unspecified less visible precautions as well, officials said.

The FBI and the Homeland Security Department issued an intelligence note on Nov. 20 about the threat picture for the holiday season, which was obtained by The Associated Press. At the time, officials said they had no specific information about attack plans by al-Qaida or other terrorist groups.

In 2003, al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden purportedly marked Nigeria for liberation in a recording posted on the Internet, calling on Muslims in the oil-rich country to rise up against one of the “regimes who are slaves of America.” But links to al-Qaida remained rare, though security forces claimed to break up such a linked terror cell in November 2007.

Delta, which is days away from obtaining a single operating certificate from the FAA to fully integrate itself and Northwest, has been hosting military personnel who have to travel over the holidays in a lounge at the Detroit airport.



December 2, 2009





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


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


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.

Large turnout for Fagunwa play

By Akintayo Abodunrin

November 14, 2009 08:43PMT
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‘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.


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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