By Japhet Alakam
The evening was a ‘fantastic’ one, said the co-chairman of the Planning Committee of Lagos at 50, Habeeb Fasinro, after watching Wakaa, the musical, the drama piece that flagged off the Lagos at 50 celebrations.
The show, which was a combination of dance, music and drama had everyone captivated and riveted as the gifted cast delivered a most thrilling performance. It was indeed a perfect way to usher in the much-anticipated Lagos at 50 celebrations as guests were treated to a spellbinding production. To many Nigerians who are in one way or the other depressed, the performance was like a soothing balm to them as they were able to forget their worries for the two hours the play lasted.
As early as 4.00 pm people from all walks of life were already at the venue waiting for the 6:00 kick off of the much advertised Wakaa and for many who had not entered the new refurbished Terra Arena, it was a very good opportunity to see the new technology in action. When the gates were opened, it was splendid and a good reflection of what one can get from Lagos just as the governor, Akinwumi Ambode who was represented by the deputy, Dr Idiat Adebule said during his opening remarks,”The golden jubilee presents a unique opportunity for us not only to celebrate our achievements but also to showcase to the entire world the immense potential waiting to be tapped.
Lagos is a place of opportunities and the show and the actors/actresses are a clear indication of what one can get in a place like Lagos, the only thing required is the conducive environment which the governor has provided”.
As also stated by the Director and Executive Producer of the play, Mrs Bolanle Austen-Peters, the drama was about the trials, successes and experiences of graduates with varied backgrounds. The story reveals the struggle and challenges young people face in present day Nigeria and abroad.
“Wakaa the Musical’ takes you on an emotional roller-coaster and is a strong satire of Nigeria’s politics. It is a play that depicts the life and struggles of many Lagos residents in their bid to achieve their dreams as well as the victory that comes with being tenacious in the face of adversity,” she said.
The story line is great, the lighting was excellent, the costumes colourful, the music was great, the dances were well choreographed and the actors/actresses demonstrated the creative ingenuity of the average Nigerian. The producer actually captures some of the contemporary issues that transpire in everyday Nigeria-the politics, economy, treachery, blackmail and others and the audience responded appropriately as events unfolded on the stage.
It was a complete reflection of some of the ‘gold diggers’, deceitful and corrupt politicians who are bent on making it at all cost, however, there are some who are bent on celebrating integrity and service. A very good lesson for all as it touched on many areas of life. From the politicians who make all sorts of promises only to enter and forget the masses, to the covetous ladies, young graduates, whose only trade is making it.
The producer applied some of the recent events in the country’s political life like the big grammar, the ‘stomach infrastructure’ the recent certificate palaver , Ex-British Prime Minister David Cameroon’s description of Nigeria as a ‘fantastically corrupt’ country and others.
Then, from the greedy nature of present day ladies as demonstrated by Kike (Nengi Adoki), who would not let idealist Tosan (Patrick Diabuah) go, to the deceitful Otunba Sagay (Bimbo Manuel) of the Generating Party, who tells Tosan at a point that “election promises are not real promises like that,who eventually becomes governor of Savanna State at the expense of Professor Elias Basuaye (Lord Frank) and his running mate, Professor Jojoba (Ozzy Agu), of the Brainny Party.
Another thrilling episode was the case of Rex (Jolomi Amuka), though trained as a medical doctor, but like most typical young Nigerians who feel that going out of the country is the best, travels to London with the intention of living an easy life with the supposed white girl, Cassandra (Ade Laoye) whom he met on Facebook. But to his horror, she is actually a sex-starved black lady who posed as a white lady. Rex was finally deported and he tries a fast one on Kike, who also does not cover herself in glory with her avarice in between Rex and Tosan. Rex and Tosan had to fight over her, but in the end she gets her way as Tosan accepted her back.
It was an action packed show that was laced with typical Nigerian songs that address particular scenes.
The Lagos at 50 Celebrations which commenced from Saturday, April 8 2017 will feature series of interesting activities and will climax on Saturday 27th May 2017 to commemorate the May 27, 1967 date of the creation of Lagos State.