By JAPHET ALAKAM
Lovers of theatre and art were treated to what can be described as a real treat last weekend when Entertainment Bus-Stop led by celebrated Nigerian playwright, Eki Faith Eboigbe’s opened their 2014 thaetre season with a splendid performance of Okikiro, the love of country at the Agip Recital Hall, Muson Centre, Onikan.
It was indeed a theatrical performance that tells a serious story as the audience were held spell bound for the 100 minutes the play lasted.
Featuring seasoned actors and actresses and combining all the elements of drama, a well designed set, good cast, costume to suit, good music and dancers, the well scripted drama which portrays some of the activities of wicked people in the society is one of the things that the country requires at this critical time when the country is engulfed with the security challenges of Boko Haram.
Filled with strong emotional conflicts, suspense, and personal understanding, Okikiro, a satiric play with a social-cultural, moral theme with lots of messages though written in 2007 captures the present trend in Nigeria where some disgruntled elements are unleashing harm on the society.
The playwright through the play exposed the secret activities of evil men and the doggedness of the youth in fighting them, thereby making a clarion call to Nigerian youths to play their part in restoring glory and honour to their Motherland. It also seeks to re-ignite a sense of responsibility, unity, national pride and moral fortitude in the Nigerian youths.
Okikiro portrays the conflict that breaks out in the once peaceful land of Okikiro. After the tussle for the kingship stool was won by Barney Obi Abiezue, the King, there was crisis but this was soon resolved but Martins Iwuagwu, Firoro who lost out vowed to make the community ungovernable and in his bid to actualise that he recruited youths who sabotaged all developmental efforts, looted, killed and chased away investors.
This was the situation until the youths of the land applied wisdom and tackled the seemingly many-headed monster to proffer a peaceful resolution, restoring peace to their land and justice to the culprits. It is an ideal forum to illustrate ways to bridge the widening gap between youths and the values of our society.
Speaking about the drama, the royal father of the day, Oba Olusanya Adegboyega Dosunmu, Olowu of Owu Kingdom said, “we must not give up, evil will not overide good. The righteous must continue to exist and prosper. We must not join the evil ones because shame is going to be their lot. He said that Eki, the playwright has struck the right note to the ears and shown the brightest light to the eyes of all Nigerians. There are lessons from the play which we have learnt and we are going home resolved that Nigeria will survive.” The royal father who is also a plywright promised to take the drama to Abeokuta.
The creative director/ CEO of Entertainment Bus-Stop, Eki Faith Eboigbe,who confessed that she conceived the idea during her stormy period said that the drama is to motivate and inspire people to passionately love the country. “We have the capabilities to make change in the world.”
The play which kick-started the 2014 new season of a theatre outfit, Entertainment Bus Stop Ltd, was written by Eki Faith Eboigbe and directed by Veteran Actor and Theatre Arts Lecturer, Tunji Sotimirin.
The re-staging of the play which was first performed at the National Theatre, Iganmu in July, 2010 and in Abeokuta in celebration of Nigeria’s 50th anniversary, October 1 and 2, 2010 is timely and essential as it explores the effects of a society in which there are laws but no values and its effects on the ethical beliefs of the upcoming generation.