Archive for the ‘FAGUNWA’ Category


September 17, 2008

FROM tribune

Since November, 1949

Sun. 7th Sept. 2008

Chams seeks revival of live theatre with Fagunwa’s works

By Akintayo Abodunrin

FagunwaLIVE theatre which has been in the doldrums in recent years is about to undergo a revival through the intervention of Computer Hardware and Maintenance Services (Chams) Plc. The company, an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) company that supports transactional card-based services, e-commerce and mobile payment solution is aiming to do this with its Chams Theatre Series.
Well aware of the entertainment and didactic roles of theatre in the human society, the company incorporated in 1985 as a computer maintenance and engineering company but which has grown to become a leading IT solutions company with pioneer status in smart card technology, according to Seye Femi Gureje, General Manager, Chams Access, conceived the theatre series as a strategic intervention and contribution to reawaken the stage culture in Nigeria. “It is also a means of promoting our culture and re-orientating Nigerians on the value we cherish”, he said.
At a briefing to introduce the series and its first presentation, an English and Yoruba adaptation of D.O. Fagunwa’s Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Irunmole by Professors Femi Osofisan and Akinwumi Isola last week at Protea Hotel, Lagos, Gureje explained why the company is seeking to resurrect live theatre through Fagunwa. In the company of Professor Osofisan, Dr. Kola Oyewo, director of the Yoruba adaptation entitled Ogboju Ode… and Dr. Tunde Awosanmi, director of the English adaptation entitled Adventures in the Forest of a Thousand Daemons; Gureje disclosed that the company chose the theatre series as a platform to interact with the larger society because of the benefits of theatre.
He disclosed that the company had gotten exclusive rights to sponsor stage adaptations of Ogboju Ode…, Igbo Olodumare, Ireke Onibudo, Irinkerindo Ninu Igbo Elegbeje and Adiitu Olodumare, all works of Fagunwa over the next five years and that the company was almost through with securing the rights to the works of other Nigerian authors.
Gureje disclosed that the series will open on September 13 with the adaptations of Ogboju Ode … and explained why the works of the late teacher were chosen this way: “D.O. Fagunwa’s works were essentially chosen because they portray the values we cherish in Chams. His books teaches lessons in perseverance, hard work, determination, teamwork, patriotism, etc and we also believe that this values are essential for nation building.”

From left, Dr. Kola Oyewo, Mr. Seye Femi Gureje,
Professor Femi Osofisan and Dr. Tunde Awosanmi
briefing the press on the Chams Theatre Series.He added that, “Fagunwa’s books were chosen because his works portray the richness of the African mind with most of his illustrations, and use of strong and unusual characters … The underlying theme of his works promote such virtues as perseverance, gratitude, selflessness, bravery, time management, leadership focus, service to humanity etc.”
Gureje assured that the company did not initiate the series for publicity and that it would not abandon the series midway. He said the project was very dear to Chams and that it is the values in Ogboju Ode… that made the company commence the series with it.
“Ogboju Ode… is a story of leadership, bravery, courage, discipline, industry, endurance and focus. It is a story of man striving valiantly against odds and succeeding. It is one that we commend to society”, Gureje said of the play which will be staged in Lagos, Abuja, Ibadan and Ile-Ife.
Speaking on the play which the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Prince Adetokunbo Kayode has endorsed and which command performance the ministry and Chams are collaborating to stage in Abuja, the project consultant, Professor Femi Osofisan, said he was privileged to work on the script of a master story-teller.
“Fagunwa is one of the great pioneers of the fiction genre in our indigenous language, a trail blazer in the modernisation and preservation of a traditional culture. Ogboju Ode Ninu Igbo Irunmole is a world classic, a story that will be forever young because it speaks to our fundamental yearning for adventure, thrill and wisdom.”
Osofisan added that he was excited because Chams realised the need to promote Nigeria’s indigenous culture by investing in the play unlike some companies that promote foreign derived shows. “By selecting this work, Chams is rendering an immeasurable service to the preservation of our culture. At a time when our country like others in the so-called Third World are faced with the menace of globalisation, certainly it is such projects as this that will help the process of our cultural rebirth,” the playwright who disclosed that he had to help some female members of the cast tie their wrappers and head tie said.
Osofisan also confessed that the project excites him because, “we all know how nowadays the stage is dying, and how live performances have almost completely vanished from the weekly diary of social experience. We have to thank Chams very specially therefore for this concrete contribution to the life of theatre. Actors are getting employment once again, both on the English speaking and Yoruba theatres, and in such large numbers too; designers and dancers and choreographers are receiving a long-needed push to creative resurgence; and the audience, long starved of direct contact with actors in a live auditorium, will have the opportunity once again of participating in the pleasure and the ecstasy that only a drama production is capable of.”