• Sunday, July 14, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Wakaa The Musical

businessday-icon

In December 2013 and 2014, Bolanle Austen-Peters of Terra Kulture began a trend that set Lagos on fire with her Broadway style production, Saro the Musical. History repeated itself as Wakaa The Musical, a Bolanle-Austen Peters production (BAP) hit the stage from December 30th 2015 through to January 3rd 2016 at MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos.

From the time my ticket was secured to when I went to watch the play, my heart was filled with anxiety, though a year had gone but the feeling SARO gave me was still lingering so you see why my anticipation to watch Wakaa was high.

Arriving Muson centre on the 2nd of January 2016, I as scheduled to watch the 4pm show. Entering the hall, it was easy to tell everyone was really anticipating a grand show and BAP didn’t let us down.

Viewing from the VIP section was grand and so with popcorn on my left hand, a bottle of water on my right, I was ready to enjoy Wakaa…then I heard Sola Oyebade’s pulsating voice that encompassed the room saying “in 3, 2, 1….Ladies and gentlemen, we present to you…WAKAA!!” and one after the other, the actors walked in on stage and the show began.

Wakaa is a family-orientated 2-hour stage musical extravaganza of drama, comedy, live music and dance. Wakaa The Musical explores the scheming, intrigues, betrayals and games people play in life.

Boasting a 60-man cast and crew, Wakaa The Musical is a play about the trials, successes and experiences of six young graduates with varied backgrounds, a wager between them after graduation has a twist when the realities of life and the folly of their choices hit them. Eventually they reunite, coming full circle.

The story reveals the struggles and challenges young people face in present-day Nigeria and abroad and is a strong satire on Nigerian politics. Written by Tunde Babalola, the play was directed by Bolanle Austen-Peters herself having taken a course in directing at the University of Southern Illinois, Carbon-Dale, United States.

Ayo Ajayi and Gbenga Yusuf retained their positions as music and dance directors, with two choreographers Paulo Sisiano (who also starred in Saro the Musical) and Justin Ezirem.

Let me share with you about the actors in the play. Patrick Diabuah, played Tosan in Wakaa. Tosan is the patriotic Nigerian who falls in love with Kike the extravagant and frivolous girl from a rich home. Tosan is appointed a special adviser to the governor on youth affairs. He is allocated a beautiful house, a luxurious car and his personal security team. Tosan’s life is just perfect. Little did he know that his proposed projects were used to siphon money by his uncle and associates. Tosan falls on hard times following his anti-corruption stance and mantra for change.

Arese Emokpae played Kike and she is the pampered, over indulged daughter of a wealthy Nigerian business man. She sticks to Tosan because he is of good looks, smart and above all, has a very bright future. She, like Tosan, has her own dreams. She sees herself becoming the First Lady someday.

The affable Ade Laoye played Ngozi the serious humanitarian and kind hearted medical doctor who returns to the village to give back to the community. Having experienced child labour first hand, Ngozi is determined to use her education and position to combat child labour, child trafficking and actively partake in all other forms of community service and development.

Segun Dada played Ahmed the get rich quick, I-must-check-out-of-Nigeria guy who succeeds in scraping up every kobo he has to his name, and with Cassandra’s assistance, he makes the trip to England. His first of many disappointments to come is meeting Cassandra in person. She turns out to be nothing of the person he has been dating for well over a year. Both in person and character, Cassandra turns out to be a lie, not the beautiful sweet lady he met on social media.

Jolomi Amuka played Rex, a flamboyant, happy go lucky dancer who parades himself as an artist and a promoter of art. He is a social climber. Having tasted poverty in life, Rex has sworn to make it and to make it at all cost, whether by hook or by crook. He swindles some unsuspecting youths of some money. He is hurt he lost Kike to Tosan and vows to either get her back or marry a girl from a wealthier home than Kike’s.

The Vivacious Dolapo Philips played Alero, the backstabbing friend who is envious of Kike and is willing to do anything to take her place.

If you did not watch Wakaa on any of the given days, I must admit to you, you missed but not to worry, another exciting, inspiring and enlightening play by BAP is just a year away!

 

Kemi Ajumobi