Eko Theatre Carnival takes centre stage

Yinka Badejo

The Eko Theatre Carnival commenced on Sunday at the Nike Art Gallery in Lekki, Lagos, with a political performance by Segun Adefila’s Crown Troupe.

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During the opening ceremony, Adefila, who donned a masquerader’s outfit alongside his troupe, delivered a spoken word performance infused with dance to depict the state of the nation. It was well received by both the international and indigenous audiences present.

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The performance told the tale of insecurity, oppression, economic meltdown in the country, drawing the attention of the elite to the pending situations.

In his welcome address, the Oludo of Ido Osun, Oba Aderemi Adedapo, lauded Adefila for walking in the footsteps of the founder of the Nike Art Gallery, Mrs Nike Okundaye,  who he described as a “world changer”.

“Mama (Nike) has always been an enigma from birth, somebody who was created to change the world. She never attended the university, but, today, she’s lecturing in top universities in the world.

“Anything mama touches turns to diamond. As we look at the life of Adefila, he might not be there yet, but he is touching lives,” he added.

Speaking on why he had decided to take the performance to Bariga, Adefila said, “The first two was held at the Freedom Park for free. However, we felt we needed to centralise a bit because most of the people performing are from the mainland.

“It is a way of bringing light and attention to Bariga. People hear different kinds of stories about that community and I’m sure by the time our foreign visitors tell their stories about Bariga, the people’s perception would begin to change.”

The seven-day event, which will take place across various venues in Lagos State, is sponsored by the MTN Nigeria Foundation.

The foundation praised Adefila for taking the show to the roots of Bariga, describing the action as a step to youth empowerment, which is one of the core areas of the foundation.

In addition, the Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Mrs Nonny Ugboma, said that art and culture, youth empowerment and mother and child health were its focus areas.

On Wednesday, the National Theatre will host the screening of Ibadan and Makoko, a Zuri 24 Media Production while Soyinka’s Trials of Brother Jero will also be staged.  The following day, African Israeli Stage takes their performance of A Dance of the Forests to Freedom Park, Lagos Island.

There will be Drums Invocations and the performance of ‘Punctuation,’ written and directed by Joshua Alabi,  by Kininso Koncept at Ameckor’s Dream Orchard – on Friday.

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