Lagos Fringe to honour Oduneye, Ajai-Lycett, Kelani at Opening Launch on Tuesday
The Lagos Fringe International Festival takes off on Tuesday, November 19 and will run through the 24th at various venues across the city of Lagos. The 6-day festival, organised in partnership with Multichoice Nigeria, British Council Nigeria, Freedom Park and the Alliance Francaise, will bring together participants from Senegal, UK, South Africa, Canada, Brazil, Ghana, Portugal and Nigeria.
The opening launch on Tuesday at Alliance Francaise, Mike Adenuga Centre Victoria Island is designed as a high-net-worth event to be graced by eminent guests including, leaders in business, diplomatic and social circuits.
A highpoint of the event would be the conferment of meritorious service award on three notable personalities who, in the words of the Festival’s artistic director, Kenneth Uphopho, have contributed immensely to the development of the theatre profession as well as the shaping of the creative industry of Nigeria.
The three honoured artistes are:
Adebayo Adisa Oduneye, one of the most significant theatre directors in Nigeria and Africa, he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) in England and at the Carnegie Melon University, Pittsburgh, USA. For decades, he taught directing at the Department of Theatre Arts, University of Ibadan, and later at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Abeokuta, where he took up adjunct professor seat after his retirement from the University of Ibadan. ‘Uncle B,’ as he is fondly called by his numerous students and mentees, has held several distinguished positions, including as artistic director, festival drama manager (FESTAC 77), chairman of the Nigerian Film Corporation, and lately as Artistic Director of the National Troupe of Nigeria between 1991 and 2000. He is reputed to have directed nearly all the classic theatrical plays coming out of Africa in the 70s through the 2000s. He founded Diamond Productions through which he directed many memorable productions, including Wole Soyinka’s classic, Death and the King’s Horseman, which he did for the Nigeria Industrial Bank, (NIB) drama series. He disbanded the company upon his appointment as Artistic Director of National Troupe of Nigeria. After his tour of duty, he founded Lagemo Players with his friend Ambassador Olu Otunla. In a study of Oduneye’s directorial style, Abiodun Macaulay of Department of Performing and Film Arts Elizade University, Ondo State, wrote: He is an expert with the total theatre concept; and has also been successful with contemporary plays around the globe. His directing project plays were J.P Clark’s Song of a goat at Carnege-Mellon University in 1971 and Masquerade at Pittsburgh in 1972. His first play as a director in Nigeria was Hassan by Elroy Flecker (1992). Others include, Wale Ogunyemi’s Langbodo, Ijaiye War (1974) and Divorce (1981), Wole Soyinka’s Child Internationale and The Trials of Brother Jero (1973), Ola Rotimi’s Our Husband has Gone Mad Again (1980/’81), C.B Akinyemi’s Skeletons (1982), an adaptation of Donald Jack’s Exit Muttering, The Visit of Bishop Alaba (1985/87), Hadrian the 7th by Peter Luke (1987), A Theme for Linda by Ron Milner (1971), Foursome by Eugene Ionesco (1970/’73), Orison by Fernando Arabel (1974), The Mansion by Rasheed Gbadamosi (1979), The Greener Grass by Rasheed Gbadamosi (1979), Purse by Alen Mezegede (1980), Death and the King’s Horseman by Wole Soyinka (1987), Antigone by Jean Anomln (1988), Trials of Ovonramwen by Ahmed Yerima (1997), Kaffir’s Last Game by Ahmed Yerima (1998), and many more.
Taiwo Ajai-Lycett, easily referred to as the “Dame of the Nigerian Stage and Screen”, Anty TAL has been a recurring decimal on the story of the Nigeria and African Theatre profession. She trained as a journalist in the United Kingdom and rose to become editor of Africa Woman, a political, economic and social magazine for black and African men and women in the Diaspora. A chance encounter with a theatre producer made her become an actress, thus launching a career that has seen strut the stage and screen at home and broad for almost six decades now. She made her acting debut in December 1966, in Wole Soyinka’s The Lion and the Jewel, a two-act comedy directed by William Gaskill at the Royal Court Theatre in London. Subsequently, she enrolled at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In 1972, she left her corporate career and joined the Traverse Theatre Group for the Edinburgh Festival. She was later in a string of television and stage shows. In 1973, she was in Amadu Maddy’s play ‘Life Everlasting’ at the Africa Centre, London, and later in the year, she was in Peter Nichols’ ‘The National Health’ during the Festival of British Theatre. In 1976, she played the lead role in Yemi Ajibade’s Parcel Post at the Royal Court Theatre. While in England, she also featuredin Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em, the popular British sitcom alongside the popular comedian, Julius spencer. Her acting career flowered at the prestigious Royal Court Theatre, Sloane’s Square, London, and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). (1969-76). During this stage of her professional life, she combined acting on the UK stage, television and films with print and electronic journalism. She later attended the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London, City Literary Institute, (City Lit.) and the Dance Centre, Floral Street, Covent Garden, London, studying Acting, Music, Voice, Singing, Ballet, Modern and Contemporary Dance. She has performed in many leading theatres in the UK, such as the Traverse Theatre at the Edinburgh International Festival; the Gaiety Theatre, at the Dublin International Theatre Festival; and The Bristol Old Vic. She was conferred with an Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) in 2006 by President Olusegun Obasanjo, on occasion of Nigeria’s 47th Independence Day Anniversary. She is also a Fellow (SONTA) a Fellow of the Society of Nigerian Theatre Artists. For her meritorious service to the cause of Creative Arts, Education, Business and Community Development, Taiwo has received several other Awards.
Tunde Kelani –Ace cinematographer, filmmaker and culture advocate, he is largely regarded as the standard for the Nigerian Film Culture. Founder of the famous Mainframe Productions (aka Opomulero), Kelani’s works, mostly on Yoruba language, have for decades manifest as the face of Nigerian cinema in the global film circuit. Having been introduced to Yoruba literature from an early stage in his life, Tunde Kelani was greatly influenced by the travelling theatre tradition championed by the likes of late Hubert Ogunde, Kola Ogunmola and Duro Ladipo among others. He got interested in photography from primary school. In the 1970s, he worked as a BBC TV and Reuters correspondent, and in the then Western Nigerian Television Services. He later worked as a cameraman/producer at the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), from where he left to study Cinematography and Film Production at the London Film School. Once he finished from the London Film School, he returned to Nigeria and co-produced his first film with Adebayo Faleti – The Dilemma of Rev. Father Michael (Idaamu Paadi Minkailu). His other cinematic works, most of which are adaptations of existing literary works, include Ti Oluwa Ni ile, Ayo ni Mofe, Koseegbe, Oleku, Saworoide, Agogo Ewo, The White Handkerchief, The Narrow Path, Arugba, Thunderbolt, Maami, Campus Queen, Dazzling Mirage and lately Sidi Ilujinle. In 1991, Kelani started his own production company, Mainframe Films and Television Productions – Opomulero, so he could “produce films and not just lend technical support”, in his words. Mainframe is renowned for its promotion and preservation of Yoruba culture and heritage. Two years ago, Kelani decided to formalise a vital feature of his illustrious career – educating, and helping to build the capacity of the youth, and thus giving back to the vocation that has given him so much. He established the Mainframe Film and Media Institute, MFMI located in his native Abeokuta city in Ogun State. Earlier in 2017, he was appointed as the chairman of the National Film and Video Censors Board but resigned months later due to irreconcilable difference with the way some members of the board perceived their role.
The Lagos Fringe festival director, Kenneth Uphopho said the honour is being conferred on the three on the recommendations of the Lagos Fringe advisory board, in recognition of the fact that these three are “some of the very few ‘true icons’ of the Nigerian theatre, who have in particular been ‘mentors’ of several generations of Nigerian Theatre Artistes”. The objective, he says, is to set them up as models for the younger generation of theatre artistes, to encourage them to keep striving to prove their mettles in the difficult terrain of theatrical productions in the country and, in the continent.
Bestselling Author, Margaret Atwood turns 80
est selling author and joint winner of the 2019 Booker prize for literature, Margaret Atwood, today turned 80.
Happy Birthday Margaret!
The accomplished literati has been known for her extensive and brilliant writing that has spanned over eight decades.
with her first book ‘Annie the Ant’ written at age seven.
Her best selling book-turned-TVseries, ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ has gained considerable global appeal since it’s release, and fans the world over waited expectantly for the long overdue second instalment which finally came in ‘The Testament’, another best selling-book that sold over 100,000 copies in the first week.
We are taken by Margaret’s colourful wit, sharp intellect, love and understanding of nature and most of all her penchant for great quotes.
As she turns 80, here are some of our favourite quotes from Margaret Atwood.
War is what happens when language fails.
I would like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment only. I would like to be that unnoticed and that necessary.
A word after a word after a word is power.
Don’t let the bastards grind you down.
Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.
Another belief of mine: that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.
In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.
Love blurs your vision; but after it recedes, you can see more clearly than ever. It’s like the tide going out, revealing whatever’s been thrown away and sunk: broken bottles, old gloves, rusting pop cans, nibbled fishbodies, bones. This is the kind of thing you see if you sit in the darkness with open eyes, not knowing the future.
Ignoring isn’t the same as ignorance, you have to work at it.
We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom.
We lived in the gaps between the stories.
Longed for him. Got him. Shit.
I read for pleasure and that is the moment I learn the most.
The only way you can write the truth is to assume that what you set down will never be read. Not by any other person, and not even by yourself at some later date. Otherwise you begin excusing yourself. You must see the writing as emerging like a long scroll of ink from the index finger of your right hand; you must see your left hand erasing it.
Time in dreams is frozen. You can never get away from where you’ve been.
A rat in a maze is free to go anywhere, as long as it stays inside the maze.
You can only be jealous of someone who has something you think you ought to have yourself.
We still think of a powerful man as a born leader and a powerful woman as an anomaly.
Hope you enjoyed reading the quotes as much as we did.
She’s so divine.
Do us a big favour, pop over to her twitter handle and wish her a happy birthday.
Here it is: @margaretatwood
CKC, Onitsha Old Boys Association launch “Sons Of A Priest” Book In Honour Of Rev. Fr. Tagbo
Christ the King College Old Boys’ Association, Abuja branch joins the Catholic faithful across Nigeria on Sunday November 24 2019 in the annual celebration of the feast of Christ the King. This is also, the feast day celebration of one of the foremost secondary school schools in Nigeria, Christ the King College, Onitsha. This year’s event, which would involve old boys of the college with members of their families, will commence with a High Mass at the Holy Cross Catholic Church, Gwarinpa Abuja by 9:00 a.m. The feast day will be crowned with a Pubic Presentation of the Book Sons of a Priest by the multiple award-winning author, and CKC old boy, Odili Ujubuoñu.
According to the President of CKC Onitsha Old Boys’ Association Abuja Branch, Chief Emeka Eriobuna, “the book is a collection of testimonials of past students of the longest serving and first black principal of the college, the late Very Reverend Fr. Nicholas Chukwuemeka Tagbo OON. This includes Governor Willie of Obiano of Anambra State, Dr. Peter Odili former Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Peter Obi former Governor of Anambra State, Senator Mike Ajegbo, His Lordship Archbishop Valarian Okeke–Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Onitsha–Hon. Justice P.N.C Umeadi former Chief Judge of Anambra State, just to mention a few.”
The book project began in 2016 shortly before the death of the old priest at the age of 87 years. The Public Presentation of the book would be done by another distinguished old boy Mr. Cecil Osakwe an Abuja based Lawyer and Luxury Property Developer. Eriobuna explains that “Sons of a Priest is a strong emotional statement by over a hundred past students, united in their voices in proudly telling the world how a simple and humble priest sacrificed his life so that tens of thousands of ordinary boys could become leaders, influencers of society and very remarkable successes in different walks of life and around the world. When our branch saw the great work the author, whom we are very proud of, was embarking on we decided to partner with him.” Eriobuna further explains, “Rev. Fr. Tagbo was a man of quality and everything that bears his name goes with quality that is why we are making this a very quality event.”
Rev. Fr. Nicholas Chukwuemeka Tagbo OON was born in 1929 in present day Anambra State. He graduated from the college in 1949 and was first appointed the first black principal of the Christ the King College, Onitsha in 1963. Under his tutelage, Dr Peter Odili served as a senior prefect and several other great men earned their early leadership formation. During the war, Rev. Fr. Tagbo preserved CKC’s rich archives and tradition and was able to return the school to its early glory immediately after the Nigerian Civil war. This culminated in the school winning, for Nigeria, the nation’s first ever world football trophy by bringing home from Dublin-Ireland, the World Schools’ Soccer Cup in 1977. Tagbo died in July of 2016 after a protracted illness. He received a grand burial from Christ the King College Onitsha, Old Boys. It was reported that at his burial, thousands of his former students besieged the commercial city of Onitsha from every corner of the earth to pay their last respects to him. Among N.C. Tagbo’s exceptional past students was the world renowned Computer Scientist, Philip Emeagwali and Dr. John Agwunobi who was once the Secretary of Health, the State of California, U.SA.
Chief Eriobuna, an Estate Surveyor, opines that “this event would be attended not just by CKC greats but captains of industry, the diplomatic community, members of the media, political and party leaders and members of the clergy –who form the primary constituency of our late principal, priest, father, mentor and friend. The Book event would take place by 4.00pm at the Sandralia Hotel, Jabi, Abuja, FCT.”
Christ the King College was founded in 1933 by Irish missionaries led by the then Archbishop of Onitsha, Archbishop Charles Heerey. Among the eminent products of the school are the late Rev. Fr. N.C. Tagbo himself, late Justice Chukwudifu Oputah, Justice Chuba Ikpeazu, Dominic Cardinal Ekandem, Prince Felix Esayande Akenzua, Chief Chike Ofodile, SAN, Dr. Ibe Nwoga, Justice Allagoa, Dr. Ene Henshaw, the great novelist John Munonye and a host of countless others.
Chief Eriobuna concludes that “in order to make the fame of our college last forever, we must keep ensuring that Christ the King College stands head and shoulders above its contemporaries in academics, sports, discipline and morals. The book event, apart from celebrating our former principal, will enable us pay attention to the immediate and remote needs of our alma mater.”